Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) issued the following statement today on passage of the Sequestration Transparency Act (H.R. 5872), legislation requiring a report from the White House on its plan to implement across-the-board defense and discretionary spending cuts scheduled to take effect on January 1st:
"The enormously critical and challenging missions facing our armed services members across the globe will not diminish on January 1st, but, if President Obama and Senate Democrats continue refusing to act, the resources they have to carry them out will. Under current law, the military will be hit with devastating, across-the-board spending cuts next year. The bill passed by the House with broad, bipartisan support today requires transparency and accountability from the president on how he will implement those cuts, and what impact they will have on specific programs and activities that keep our country safe -- information Congress has repeatedly sought from the White House, but not received.
"The president's own Defense Secretary warns that the scheduled defense cuts will "inflict severe damage to our national defense.' House Republicans have addressed that threat by passing a plan to avert the devastating cuts and replace them with common-sense reforms and reductions that go beyond the savings mandated under current law, without compromising our defense capabilities and national security.
"President Obama has offered no plan of his own to replace the arbitrary cuts with a more responsible approach, and Senate Democrats have made clear they support allowing the scheduled cuts to take effect, regardless of the consequences. The bill passed today will provide a clear picture of what Democrats' inaction will mean for our men and women in uniform, and for all Americans who depend on the freedom and security their countless sacrifices provide."
NOTE: In May, House Republicans passed the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (H.R. 5652) to address scheduled sequestration cuts aimed at the Department of Defense. The legislation combines the work of six committees that produced deficit reduction plans in their respective areas pursuant to the reconciliation instructions of the House-approved budget. In addition to replacing the Department of Defense sequestration cuts, the bill will produce savings of $243 billion over ten years.