White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration would be handing in its homework late in the delay of a sequestration report required by a law President Obama recently signed.
The Sequestration Transparency Act, introduced back in May by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), says “not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a detailed report on the sequestration,” detailing where and how mandatory cuts put into motion by the failure of the deficit-reduction supercommittee would go into effect Jan. 2, 2013.
Obama signed the bill, which passed the House 414-2 and the Senate by unanimous consent, on Aug. 7.
The 30-day deadline came and went, though, with no report from the administration.
Carney said Friday that Congress would see the report in several days.
“Given the time needed to address the complex issues involved in preparing the report, the administration will be submitting that report to Congress late next week,” he said.
“But let me just tell you that no amount of planning changes the fact that sequester would have devastating consequences. And that’s why it is time for Republicans in Congress to stop putting our nation at risk for these cuts because of their insistence on preserving a trillion-dollar tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.”
The administration has been trying to use dropping tax-cut extensions for upper-income brackets as leverage against Republicans who want to save defense from potentially catastrophic cuts.
“It’s just another example of — in some ways, similar to what we experienced last summer — where Republicans’ insistence that millionaires get a tax cut blocks the kind of common-sense compromise, kind of common- sense progress that we can make if the Republicans would simply abandon their maximalist position, all of which is based on, as the President said last night, this notion that the singular prescription for any economic ill is more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires,” Carney continued.
When asked why they haven’t been able to pull the report together in the month allotted, Carney just repeated, “There are a lot of factors involved in preparing a report like this.”
“It is clear that something has to be done to rein in spending and get our economy up and running again, but blindly gutting the military is not a responsible answer to solving our debt crisis,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “I had hoped that the administration would comply with the bipartisan Sequestration Transparency Act and outline exactly how these sequester defense cuts would be implemented. Instead, they have ignored not only the deadline but also the wishes of the American people who are relying on Washington to protect their national security and get the economy back on the path to prosperity.”