U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today introduced the Sequestration Prevention Act of 2012 (S.3473). The legislation repeals sequestration put into place by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and offsets the cost at a total savings estimate of $61.2 billion over ten years.
Inhofe introduced the bill on the Senate floor. You can view his speech here.
"Our nation has endured more than 41 months of unemployment at or above 8 percent. Yet the President is doing nothing to address the looming fiscal cliff when $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and $1.2 trillion in sequestration spending cuts go into effect at the start of next year," said Inhofe. "Today I have introduced the first solution in the Senate to permanently and effectively avoid the across-the-board cuts of sequestration. The Sequestration Prevention Act replaces disastrous sequestration cuts with smart reforms to mandatory entitlement programs and reduces non-defense discretionary spending to more rational levels.
"The President has already managed to secure $487 billion in defense cuts, and by refusing to address sequestration, we're facing another $500 billion. These devastating cuts would result in the smallest ground fleet since 1940, the smallest fleet of ships since 1915, and the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force. My bill will reverse the President's devastating policies and ensure a strong national defense truly capable of handling the threats we face."
The Sequestration Prevention Act repeals initial defense cuts enacted by the President last year and achieves a long-term defense-spending goal of 4 percent of GDP. The legislation also replaces the $1.2 trillion sequestration cuts with the following:
Ø Repeals Obamacare & Block Grants Medicaid (Saves $1.1 trillion):
o Repealing Obamacare and block granting Medicaid, following Paul Ryan's approach, will reduce Medicaid spending by $1.2 trillion and will hand over the management of the program to the states.
Ø Reduces Non-Defense Discretionary Spending to FY2006 levels (Saves $952 billion):
o Freezes Non-Defense spending at FY06 levels through FY2017; allows 2% annual increase thereafter.
Ø Block Grants Food Stamps (Saves $285 billion):
o Repeals the current Food Stamp program and creates a block grant program that is scaled back to more reasonable level. It allows states to design and manage their own programs.
Ø Reduces the Federal Workforce by 10% through Attrition (Saves $144 billion)
Ø Enacts Medical Malpractice Tort Reform (Saves $74 billion):
o Caps non-economic damages at $250,000.
o Caps punitive damages at $250,000 or twice the amount of economic damages, whichever is greater.
o Same as H.R. 5, which passed the House.
Ø Repeals Funding of Climate Change and Global Warming Related Activities (Saves $83 billion)
Sen. Inhofe has been the leading voice in the Senate on the impact of sequestration to the defense industry and national security. He has also raised attention to the Obama Administrationleaning on industries to break the WARN Act, a law requiring employers to give 60 days notice of a mass layoff. Because sequestration takes place on Jan. 2, 2013, sequestration pink slips would be due five days before the Presidential election