• After the President initially asked for a blank check to keep borrowing, Congress forged a bipartisan agreement – The Budget Control Act – to ensure that any debt-limit increase was accompanied by a greater amount of spending reduction.
  • The Budget Control Act called for deficit reduction in three stages – pre-sequester discretionary spending caps, a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSCDR), and an automatic spending reduction enforced by sequester in the event that the JSCDR failed.
  • In the wake of the JSCDR’s failure to achieve its deficit-reduction goals, discretionary spending levels are scheduled to be reduced by $98 billion effective January 2, 2013.
  • There is bipartisan agreement on the devastation to America’s national security that would result if these deep cuts go into effect, and both parties have expressed a desire to avoid this outcome by reprioritizing the savings.
  • Despite bipartisan agreement on the challenge, only House Republicans – through this budget – have proposed a solution to address it.
  • This budget reprioritizes sequester savings to focus on the problem, which is government spending, and to protect national security from deep and indiscriminate cuts.
  • It achieves these goals by giving six House committees reconciliation instructions to produce legislation by a date certain that achieves the savings called for under the Budget Control Act without the haphazard cuts that the sequester entails.