U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today welcomed the approval of an amendment to the Farm Bill that requires the Obama administration to provide a report detailing automatic spending cuts slated for January 2013. Ayotte, who is leading Senate efforts to avert massive across-the-board defense cuts under "sequestration," was a co-sponsor of the measure that was approved today.
Under a process known in Washington as "sequestration" - triggered by the Super Committee's failure last fall - spending on national defense programs is set to be cut across-the-board by about $500 billion starting in January. These automatic reductions are in addition to $487 billion in already-planned Pentagon cuts.
"Senior Pentagon officials have said that defense sequestration cuts will inflict irreversible damage on the Department of Defense and undermine our national security for generations to come," said Senator Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "While I continue to work with my colleagues to prevent sequestration, the American people have a right to know precisely how these cuts will impact the Defense Department, our troops, and our defense employers."
The bipartisan measure approved today in the Senate would require the administration to provide, by August 15, a listing of each federal defense and non-defense account that would be impacted by sequestration. It also would require a reporting of any other data or information that would enhance public understanding of the sequester and its effect on the defense and nondefense functions of the federal government.