The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require the White House to provide more information on sequestration.
With only two people voting against it and 414 in favor, the Sequestration Transparency Act passed July 18. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, sponsored the bill. It moves on to the Senate for consideration.
The bill, if it became law, would require the president to submit a detailed report to Congress on how the automatic spending cuts would be implemented.
Beginning in January, across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years will go into effect unless Congress can come up with an alternative deficit-reduction plan. Roughly half of the cuts will hit the Defense Department, with the rest targeting non-defense discretionary spending programs.
The report is required to outline the discretionary spending accounts that would be exempt from the cuts.
The Budget Control Act, which includes the sequestration provision, excludes funding for veterans programs, and the president has the authority to exempt military pay.
The House legislation is similar to an amendment included in the Senate-passed farm bill that calls on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to release a report within 30 days of the law’s passage, and the president to release a report within 60 days, on the impact of sequestration on defense and nondefense spending.