In case you've forgotten already, the deal cut between Congress and the White House to raise the debt ceiling, a deal to spread out spending cuts demanded by Republicans between war spending and spending on mere, expendable human persons.
Two bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives to stop automatic cuts to Defense programs required under the Budget Control Act. The law, which mandates that $1.2 trillion be cut from the deficit in exchange for an increase in America’s borrowing limit, was the deal struck last summer between Congress and the White House. Under the law, the cut will be split between Defense and non-Defense spending for the next 10 years starting in January 2013. But the Sequester Replacement Act (H.R. 4966), recently introduced by House Budget Committee Paul Ryan, would stop automatic Defense cuts in fiscal 2013 and the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act outlines various cuts to programs to make up for ending the Defense cuts. Instead of closing tax loopholes for big corporations to make up for it, the lawmakers want to shift money from non-Defense accounts, including federal retirement program, agency budgets, food stamps, and health care. For federal employees, that means more money out of their pockets, the savings of which would be used to fund weapon programs including the Northrop Grumman Block 30 Global Hawk program that the Pentagon had planned to cancel.
Ryan introduced H.R. 4966 on April 17 (there are no co-sponsors). It now rests in the House Budget Committee.
From The Hill:
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has introduced legislation to replace a mandatory across-the-board discretionary spending cut in fiscal year 2013 that is required by last summer's deal to raise the debt ceiling.I have been unable to find a bill number for the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act but Salon has a bit of commentary on it:
The bill is the start of an effort to prevent $600 billion in defense cuts over 10 years that both parties argue would reduce U.S. national security. The defense cuts were supposed to pressure a “supercommittee” of lawmakers to find alternative cuts in the budget, but that panel failed to come up with a plan.
Ryan's Sequester Replacement Act, H.R. 4966, would eliminate language in last year's Budget Control Act that requires the cut to 2013 spending, known as the “sequester.”
Another piece of legislation, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, is a 187-page bill that outlines the various cuts and savings to mandatory programs that will make up for ending the sequester. Cuts in this bill come from recommendations made by six House committees: Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform and Ways and Means.
Paul Ryan is nothing if not indefatigable. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Republican introduced yet another budget bill. The targets of his cuts — a long list of Democratic priorities — are painfully familiar. But this time around Ryan wrapped them up in a new package of urgency: preserving national security!.
Ryan and his fellow Republicans (and a not inconsiderable number of Democrats) are desperate to find a way to avoid the dreaded ”sequester” — a package of around $600 billion in defense spending cuts that are scheduled to start kicking in at the end of this year. Never mind the holy grail of deficit reduction: When the beggar with his hand stuck out is the Pentagon, “entitlement” isn’t such a dirty word, after all.
As usual, the suffocating stench of Washington kabuki permeates the whole affair. The only reason defense cuts are on the table in the first place dates back to the failure of Republicans and Democrats to come to a real agreement on long-term deficit reduction at the end of last summer’s debt ceiling debacle. The threat of looming defense cuts that would automatically take effect in 2013 was supposed to force a bipartisan agreement before that dire day arrived. But the chances that Ryan’s newest salvo will get through the Democratic-controlled Senate during an election year are even more unlikely now than they were a year ago. The most realistic scenario? After the election, a lame-duck Congress will kick the can forward, again, to the new Congress and whomever inhabits the White House in 2013
Other bills rolled out by the Republican Mean Machine:
H.R.1 : Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, by Harold Rogers, Harold [KY-5]
H.R.2 : Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, by Eric Cantor [VA-7]
H.R.38 : To rescind funds appropriated to the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, by John Fleming [LA-4]
H.R.86 : End Tax Uncertainty Act of 2011, by Michele Bachmann [MN-6]
H.R.99 : Fair and Simple Tax Act of 2011, by David Dreier [CA-26]
H.R.105 : Empowering Patients First Act, by Dan Burton [IN-5]
H.R.119 : Keep Out the IRS Act of 2011, by John Fleming [LA-4]
H.R.123 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make certain tax relief permanent, and to repeal the estate tax, by Phil Gingrey [GA-11]
H.R.127 : To deauthorize appropriation of funds to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, by Tom Graves [GA-9]
The above cribbed from Thomas.
In the meantime profiteering war contractor Northrup Grumman can be happy:
The Block 30 Global Hawk program has not been canceled yet, according to Jim Palmer, Northrop Grumman's chief financial officer, Defense Systems reports.
Palmer adds that the contract with the Air Force may run out without notice and he does not know if and when the program will be cancelled. The Air Force said it intended to terminate the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk because it would cost too much to upgrade the unmanned aerial vehicle to match the proven U-2's sensor capabilities.