The Washington Post writes, “ A bipartisan cadre of lawmakers are making dire predictions about the sequestration cuts set to impact the Pentagon and other federal agencies on March 1. As 2012 came to a close, Congress reached an 11th-hour deal to push back the across-the-board spending cuts a few months. But there still appears to be no path to compromise, despite a number of plans currently on the table. Among the factors blocking a deal are a belief that the cuts would “improve the government’s bottom line without devastating the broader economy … but they would disproportionately impact the economy in Washington.” ASH CARTER The deputy Defense secretary, in an interview with Politico’s said he “used to be hopeful and optimistic and now I’m hopeful” that Congress will act to avert the automatic spending cuts. THE POLITICS OF CUTTING DEFENSE Politico’s David Rogers is out with a story about the complicated picture within both parties when it comes to defense cuts – and the increasing likelihood that the sequester will take effect. “House Republicans seem determined to let the cuts take effect if only as payback to President Barack Obama for humiliating them over taxes,” Rogers writes. “The White House and Senate Democrats are so far feigning indifference.” INHOFE PROPOSES GIVING DOD DISCRETION OVER SEQUESTER SASC ranking member Jim Inhofe said this week on the Senate floor that he wants to introduce legislation to give DOD the flexibility to apply the budget cuts involved with the sequester, as opposed to having them take effect indiscriminately across the board. It would make a “catastrophic situation less catastrophic,” he said. Expect Inhofe to put forward the plan as a standalone bill, with other SASC Republicans signing on as co-sponsors.
08 Feb 2013