Reid Proposes Temporary Sequestration Suspension

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has introduced legislation to end sequestration and restore normal funding levels for the remainder of fiscal 2013.

The bill (S. 788) would use savings from “winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent cuts that will harm our national security and our economy,” Reid said when introducing the bill Tuesday on the Senate floor.

Reid said while many have focused on airport delays caused by employee furloughs at the Federal Aviation Administration, there are more significant reasons to reverse the planned automatic budget cuts.

“Nationwide these across-the-board cuts will cost 750,000 jobs,” Reid said. “They will cost us investments in education that keep America competitive. They will cost millions of seniors, children, veterans and needy families the safety net that keeps them from descending into poverty.”

Reid’s bill would not end the entire sequestration program -- scheduled to take place over the next 10 years -- but delay its implementation through September. Postponing the cuts would allow Democrats and Republicans to negotiate a permanent solution, Reid said.

“We can do it for five months, and during those five months we can come up with something that is longer term,” the majority leader told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Reid’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the impact this bill would have on scheduled furloughs across most agencies in federal government, though agency heads have repeatedly pleaded with Congress to repeal sequestration so employees would not be forced to take unpaid leave.

The Democratic leader said the idea to use savings from post-war drawdowns -- which Republicans have called a “gimmick” -- was included in one of Rep. Paul Ryan’s, D-Wisc., budget proposals. In a comment to Politico, Ryan’s office denied the claim. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.