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House votes to make Obama submit own plan to stop sequester

A resolution introduced by Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and passed by the house with a 223-196 partisan margin Thursday evening.

As the clock ticks down to the hundred-day mark before gouging defense and domestic spending cuts are due to take effect, House Republicans are offering the White House a deal: show us your plan to stop sequestration.

A resolution introduced by Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and passed by the house with a 223-196 partisan margin Thursday evening requires President Barack Obama to submit his own plan to replace the reckless across-the-board cuts in the sequester with more balanced cuts. The bill would also replace money due to be leached from the Defense Department and assess cuts to discretionary spending.

In his legislation, West noted that the sequester, as written, would not only decimate military strength, it would also slash into domestic programs such as Head Start, the National Institutes of Health, and U.S. border patrol.

Republicans have already passed two sequester alternatives: a bill that would achieve the necessary budget cuts through lessening of the federal work force by attrition, and a replacement authored by Wisconsin congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that would assess the cuts in entitlement spending instead.

??Mr. President, you??re the commander in chief. Come up with a plan,? West said on the House floor. ??If you don??t like what we did in the House, then do something. Come up with a plan.?

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen denounced Republican efforts as a ??charade? and said the lack of agreement on stopping sequestration was due to their unwillingness to raise taxes.

??There are lots of alternatives that have been put on the table. They just don??t like the alternatives,? he said.

Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) disputed that claim, saying that Democrats had yet to pass actual legislation to end the sequester.

??All they have to do is pass another bill, get it to conference, and then we??ll work out the differences,? he said. ??A plan is nothing. What they have to do is pass a bill.?

McKeon also noted the impractical way the sequester was designed to find budget savings.

??Mowing the lawn at Fort Dix will have the same priority as ammunition for the troops in Afghanistan,? he said.

In spite of its support, this bill appears headed to the same fate as the other two Republican plans.

On Wednesday, the White House issued a veto threat, saying the bill did not represent shared responsibility.

Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope??s email is HHodge@eaglepub.com

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archive

House votes to make Obama submit own plan to stop sequester

As the clock ticks down to the hundred-day mark before gouging defense and domestic spending cuts are due to take effect, House Republicans are offering the White House a deal: show us your plan to stop sequestration.

A resolution introduced by Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and passed by the house with a 223-196 partisan margin Thursday evening requires President Barack Obama to submit his own plan to replace the reckless across-the-board cuts in the sequester with more balanced cuts. The bill would also replace money due to be leached from the Defense Department and assess cuts to discretionary spending.

In his legislation, West noted that the sequester, as written, would not only decimate military strength, it would also slash into domestic programs such as Head Start, the National Institutes of Health, and U.S. border patrol.

Republicans have already passed two sequester alternatives: a bill that would achieve the necessary budget cuts through lessening of the federal work force by attrition, and a replacement authored by Wisconsin congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that would assess the cuts in entitlement spending instead.

“Mr. President, you’re the commander in chief. Come up with a plan,” West said on the House floor. “If you don’t like what we did in the House, then do something. Come up with a plan.”

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen denounced Republican efforts as a “charade” and said the lack of agreement on stopping sequestration was due to their unwillingness to raise taxes.

“There are lots of alternatives that have been put on the table. They just don’t like the alternatives,” he said.

Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) disputed that claim, saying that Democrats had yet to pass actual legislation to end the sequester.

“All they have to do is pass another bill, get it to conference, and then we’ll work out the differences,” he said. “A plan is nothing. What they have to do is pass a bill.”

McKeon also noted the impractical way the sequester was designed to find budget savings.

“Mowing the lawn at Fort Dix will have the same priority as ammunition for the troops in Afghanistan,” he said.

In spite of its support, this bill appears headed to the same fate as the other two Republican plans.

On Wednesday, the White House issued a veto threat, saying the bill did not represent shared responsibility.

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