Representative James Lankford (R-OK) expressed frustration today as President Obama once again ignored a legal deadline and failed to produce a congressionally mandated report on the 11% cuts from sequestration.
"The President has once again demonstrated his desire to be Legislator-in-Chief by dictating his own timeline without any regard for congressional requirements and constitutional checks on the Executive Branch," said Representative Lankford.
"Since President Obama has refused to let his agencies release their plans for sequestration, Congress was compelled to step in and require him to proceed. In a bipartisan effort, both the House and Senate passed the Sequestration Transparency Act in July to prepare for the impending cuts in January. President Obama signed the bill into law in August, which gave his Administration one month to release the White House plan for the devastating cuts in national security."
Congress's goal was to force cross-branch communication and transparency in advance of the deadline to allow the Department of Defense to prepare for $500 billion in funding in addition to $487 billion in cuts to the Pentagon over the next decade.
"Fortunately, House Republicans have already acted to avoid the cuts," pointed out Representative Lankford. "Both chambers united to provide transparency for the cuts, and the Administration repeated the tired Democrat mantra of needing more time to act."
Reuters recently reported that the Pentagon's Chief of Acquisition, Frank Kendall, recently said at an industry conference known as ComDef, "We're counting on Congress to avoid [sequestration] It doesn't allow us to prioritize is the problem."
"Mr. President, we are out of time," noted Representative Lankford. "House Republicans have found time to pass legislation to avoid sequestration altogether. The Senate has had time and thus far failed to posit a solution of its own. Our defense and security industries are therefore left with the uncertain situation of facing drastic cuts to our national security programs without any guidance from the White House on what will be cut."
"This Administration must stop playing political games and provide certainty and transparency to this completely avoidable sequester. Once again, we see a crisis coming, and the solution is stonewalled by an Administration that never seems to have enough time or money," concluded Representative Lankford.