The House next week will consider a bill that would compel President Obama to detail what plan he has to face potentially catastrophic defense cuts.
Sequestration, the automatic cuts triggered by the failure of a bipartisan group to achieve a deficit-reduction agreement, would mean an additional $492 billion in cuts taking effect in January.
These reductions would lead to the smallest ground force since 1940, a fleet of fewer than 230 ships (the smallest since 1915), and the smallest tactical-fighter force in the history of the Air Force, according to the House Armed Services Committee.
The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 was introduced in May by John Thune (R-S.D.) in the Senate and by Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in the House.
“If the president isn’t willing to work with Republicans to replace these harmful cuts, he should at least detail for the American people how his administration plans to implement them,” Hensarling said when the bill was introduced, adding that the legislation “requires the president to join a debate he continues to evade.”
Hensarling’s bill — which requires a report from the president to Congress within 30 days on discretionary appropriations and direct spending plans for all areas touched by sequestration — has 56 co-sponsors, including Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who has been unsuccessfully fighting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring legislation to the floor that would stop the deep cuts.
Here’s McKeon on Fox earlier this week about the looming sequester.