Update: What Is Happening With Sequestration

John Boehner CC

Congressional leaders have not put together enough votes to avoid sequestration. Photo of Speaker Boehner licensed under creative commons

All signs point to sequestration taking effect as scheduled tomorrow, March 1. (For all the background on sequestration, check out our Fiscal Cliff II resource page.) To bring you up to date, here are alternatives to sequestration that have been proposed by both parties:

  • The president and Democrats in Congress have proposed alternatives to sequestration that include closing loopholes for oil and gas companies, a surtax on high incomes, and cuts to military spending phased in more gradually than those of sequestration.
  • Meanwhile Republicans in Congress proposed an alternative that would cut funding from the implementation of Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, plus reduce funding for food stamps and other social services. As a separate option, Republicans also proposed granting the president the authority to restructure the cuts of sequestration – provided the same total amount would be cut, no more than half of the cuts would come from the military, and Congress would retain veto power over the final plan.

None of those proposals had enough votes to pass, meaning that the cuts are likely to take effect on Friday as scheduled. This afternoon, in a last-minute effort, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced a one-sentence bill to repeal sequestration.