As a leading voice in the Senate to prevent massive across-the-board defense cuts slated for January, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced today that she is co-sponsoring the "Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 " - legislation that would require the Obama administration to provide Congress with specifics on how it plans to implement automatic budget cuts set to take effect in January.
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. The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps recently testified that under sequestration, the Marine Corps "would not have adequate capabilities and capacities to meet a single major contingency operation."
"Senior Pentagon officials have said that defense sequestration cuts will inflict irreversible damage on the Department of Defense and weaken our national security," 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 how the administration will go about making these cuts, which stand to inflict severe damage on the military and decimate the nation's defense industrial base."
The "Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012" would require the president to submit a report to Congress by July 9, 2012, that includes an estimate of the sequestration percentages and amounts necessary to achieve the required reduction for each spending category on an account and project level. The report would also be required to include any other data and explanations that enhance public understanding of the sequester and actions to be taken under it.