Now comes word of another deadline missed — this one detailing spending cuts under sequestration that will come into effect if Congress allows the budget to fall off the “fiscal cliff.”
The White House on Friday said it will miss the legal deadline for delivering a report to Congress on the spending cuts from sequestration that are scheduled to take effect in 2013.
Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that the report will be coming next week.
Under the terms of the Sequestration Transparency Act signed in August, President Obama was to tell Congress by Friday how the administration plans to implement the $109 billion in automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act.
The Office of Management and Budget has repeatedly failed to make legal deadlines. It delivered its presidential budget proposals and mid-session updates late both this year and last year.
Republicans have tried to tie the tardiness to the failure of the Senate to pass a budget resolution for the last three years.
“Like the [Sen. Harry] Reid majority, the White House has shown astonishingly little regard for budget law in this time of crisis,” said Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), who co-authored the transparency law.
The sequestered cuts coming in January were triggered by the failure of the 2011 supercommittee to reach a compromise on deficit reduction. The Pentagon says the looming defense cuts will devastate the military. The deal also cuts non-defense spending, but shields most entitlement benefits.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), another author of the transparency bill, blasted the delay of the report and said the administration “seems to think it is above the law.”
“Americans of all stripes are required to play by the rules and follow the laws of the land. Unfortunately, by disregarding the sequestration reporting deadline, the Obama administration seems to think it is above the lawm” he said. “The American people deserve to know the president’s plan for implementing these cuts, some of which our military leaders have said will compromise our nation’s ability to protect itself.”
Is it that OMB doesn’t have enough employees to get the work done on time? I find that theory not credible. If true, there should be wholesale firings for laziness and incompetence.
A more reasonable explanation is that the president and his staff haven’t signed off on the report. They appear too busy running the re-election campaign to manage the day to day grind of governance. The law apparently means nothing in this context because 1) there are no penalties for violating it; and 2) the voting public will never hear of it.
Most of us recall our college years where putting off that paper or project until the last minute resulted in scrambling to finish on time. It’s clear that no one at the White House is pulling an all-nighter to get these reports in prior to the statutory deadline. Perhaps the voters will give the president and his procrastinating staff a failing grade on election day.