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Inhofe-Toomey sequester alternative takes shape

With barely 48 hours to go before the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts known as sequestration set in, a plan initially offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to permit the five service chiefs to make the required cuts began to take shape Tuesday night. But where Inhofe’s initial concept would permit the five service chiefs to decide where the defense-related cuts will be made in their individual services, the latest version—in which Inhofe was joined today by freshman Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)—would be much broader and allow cuts in domestic spending to be determined by the appropriate administrators of their government programs.

“There are any number of contrasts and comparisons you could make, but in my view, a government subsidy to Solyndra wouldn’t be as high a priority as maintaining air-traffic controllers,” Toomey told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette late Tuesday.

Under rules laid down by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate would be permitted to offer one plan each as an alternative to sequestration and each would get an up-or-down vote.

Inhofe told Human Events that he received a “very positive” reception from fellow Republican senators to his plan to give discretion in cuts to the service chiefs. But already, the Inhofe-Toomey measure has come under fire from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said it would surrender budget authority to the Obama White House.

On the House side, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told us Tuesday morning that there was “sentiment for something like the [Inhofe-Toomey] plan that would give authority to administrators of programs to make the cuts. But there would also be appropriate oversight from the Appropriations Committee. We certainly aren’t going to give the Obama administration a blank check to make cuts.”

Cole also told us that “what has been most surprising to Democrats is how conservatives have held on to these cuts and how they have united the Republican Party. Sequestration by itself is a bad idea, but the amount of the cuts–$1.2 trillion over a ten year period—is a tiny step in the right direction. And what we’re finding is that, especially among the House Republicans elected in 2010 and last year—who are about half the Republican Members in the House—they won’t let the President or Wall Street bluff us out of supporting these cuts.”

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Inhofe-Toomey sequester alternative takes shape

“We certainly arenâ??t going to give the Obama administration a blank check to make cuts.â?ť

With barely 48 hours to go before the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts known as sequestration set in, a plan initially offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to permit the five service chiefs to make the required cuts began to take shape Tuesday night. But where Inhofeâ??s initial concept would permit the five service chiefs to decide where the defense-related cuts will be made in their individual services, the latest versionâ??in which Inhofe was joined today by freshman Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)â??would be much broader and allow cuts in domestic spending to be determined by the appropriate administrators of their government programs.

“There are any number of contrasts and comparisons you could make, but in my view, a government subsidy to Solyndra wouldn’t be as high a priority as maintaining air-traffic controllers,” Toomey told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette late Tuesday.

Under rules laid down by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate would be permitted to offer one plan each as an alternative to sequestration and each would get an up-or-down vote.

Inhofe told Human Events that he received a â??very positiveâ?ť reception from fellow Republican senators to his plan to give discretion in cuts to the service chiefs. But already, the Inhofe-Toomey measure has come under fire from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said it would surrender budget authority to the Obama White House.

On the House side, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told us Tuesday morning that there was â??sentiment for something like the [Inhofe-Toomey] plan that would give authority to administrators of programs to make the cuts. But there would also be appropriate oversight from the Appropriations Committee. We certainly arenâ??t going to give the Obama administration a blank check to make cuts.â?ť

Cole also told us that â??what has been most surprising to Democrats is how conservatives have held on to these cuts and how they have united the Republican Party. Sequestration by itself is a bad idea, but the amount of the cuts–$1.2 trillion over a ten year periodâ??is a tiny step in the right direction. And what weâ??re finding is that, especially among the House Republicans elected in 2010 and last yearâ??who are about half the Republican Members in the Houseâ??they wonâ??t let the President or Wall Street bluff us out of supporting these cuts.â?ť

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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