Preventing Crushing Defense Cuts

Current law requires that there be across‐the‐board cuts, known as a “sequester,” imposed on January 2, 2013. The sequester will result in a 10% reduction in Department of Defense and other domestic discretionary programs; intended as a mechanism to force action, there is bipartisan agreement that the sequester going into effect would undercut key responsibilities of the federal government.

As the Obama Administration makes clear in their own Budget, "By design, the sequester is not good policy and is meant to force Congress to take action... Cuts of this magnitude done in an across‐the‐board fashion would be devastating both to defense and non‐defense programs."

Of particular concern is the impact sequestration, if allowed to occur, would have on our national security. The sequestration cuts would be on top of the savings in discretionary defense spending that were already implemented as part of the debt limit agreement last August.

The House Armed Services Committee has analyzed the impact of the sequestration, and found that if left in place, these cuts would reduce the military to its smallest size since before the Second World War. Secretary Panetta and the professional military leadership have also looked at the impact of sequestration and reached similar conclusions.

House Actions

On May 10, 2012, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5652 the “Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012” This bill would replace the across-the board cuts that would devastate our military and other domestic programs such as law enforcement with common-sense reforms to mandatory spending. SEE THE FULL VOTE RECORD »

On May 17, 2012, the House of Representatives passes the Rigell Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill that would eliminate the pending sequester of discretionary spending for fiscal year 2013 contingent upon the enactment of spending reductions over five years of at least the amount of the sequester it supplants and also requires a detailed report on the impact of the sequestration of funds authorized and appropriated for Fiscal Year 2013 for the Department of Defense. SEE THE FULL VOTE RECORD »

On July 13, 2012, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Senator McConnell, and Senator Kyl sent a letter to President Obama offering to work together on a solution. READ THE FULL LETTER »

On August 1, 2012, House Leaders tell Sen. Reid that the House will return in August if the Senate votes to stop all the tax hikes and defense cuts. READ THE FULL LETTER »

UPDATE: On September 13, 2012, the House passed H.R. 6365, the National Security & Job Protection Act, in a 223-196 vote. READ THE SUMMARY »

If the Senate does not act, the sequester will take effect in:

Time since the House passed a solution:

2012 House Calendar