H.R. 849: Sequestration Relief Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Feb 27, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

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113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 849

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 27, 2013

(for himself, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Gallego) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Budget, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to eliminate the section 251A sequestrations and to reduce the security and nonsecurity discretionary spending limits by $320 billion from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2021, and to suspend the statutory limit on the public debt until February 1, 2017.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Sequestration Relief Act of 2013 .

2.

Findings and purpose

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Congress must enact a comprehensive, deficit reduction plan to solve the country’s fiscal challenges and to promote national security, economic stability, and the continued growth and prosperity of the United States.

(2)

The keys to a comprehensive, deficit reduction solution are increased revenues and changes in mandatory spending.

(3)

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted to avert a default on Federal debt obligations, and it reduced discretionary spending by approximately $1 trillion through fiscal year 2021.

(4)

Because the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction failed to recommend legislation providing an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, Federal law mandates that the additional savings be sequestered.

(5)

Sequestration was designed as a forcing mechanism for an agreement on a comprehensive, deficit reduction plan. It has failed to produce the intended results.

(6)

It no longer makes sense to rely on sequestration as a forcing mechanism for a balanced solution. The costs to our government and to the economy are too great.

(7)

Under sequestration, automatic, indiscriminate cuts would be applied, through fiscal year 2021, to a wide variety of discretionary spending programs to achieve $1.2 trillion in savings, forestalling the sound planning needed for prudent and meaningful investments in national security, the workforce, transportation infrastructure, education, health care, public safety, housing, innovation, small business development, and many other facets of enduring national strength.

(8)

Even the prospect of sequestration is disruptive to regular order and to the congressional appropriations process, and it fosters damaging economic uncertainty, while short-term solutions only suspend the prospect and continue to undermine the certainty needed for economic recovery.

(9)

Therefore, Congress must eliminate the threat of sequestration.

(10)

Given the magnitude of the Federal deficit, it is likely that additional cuts to discretionary spending will be necessary for a comprehensive deficit reduction solution.

(11)

Congress must establish a manageable, long-term discretionary spending plan. An additional $320 billion in targetable cuts to discretionary appropriations from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2021 represents one-third of the net amount that would have been indiscriminately cut by sequestration over fiscal years 2013 through 2021.

(12)

It is recognized that a reduction of $167 billion to discretionary appropriations within budget function 050 from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2021 will affect the National Military Strategy. The Department of Defense is highly encouraged to revisit its current strategic guidance and to work closely with Congress in building a new National Military Strategy that accounts for available resource levels.

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are to—

(1)

eliminate the threat of sequestration to the American economy;

(2)

offer the Federal Government, industry, and the American people the predictability that economic recovery demands;

(3)

enable the Congress to pass appropriations legislation in regular order with a clear discretionary spending budget and grant the legislative and executive branches of government the flexibility needed to identify and implement specific discretionary spending reductions in a responsible and deliberate manner; and

(4)

provide a practicable, long-term discretionary spending plan that will contribute to a comprehensive, balanced, long-term, deficit reduction solution that includes affordable revisions to mandatory spending and new revenues.

3.

Repeal of section 251A sequestrations

Section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is repealed.

4.

$320 billion reduction in discretionary spending limits

The discretionary spending limits set forth in paragraphs (3) through (10) of section 251(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 are amended to read as follows:

(3)

for fiscal year 2014—

(A)

for the security category, $546,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $501,000,000,000 in budget authority;

(4)

with respect to fiscal year 2015—

(A)

for the security category, $550,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $505,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

(5)

with respect to fiscal year 2016—

(A)

for the security category, $559,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $513,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

(6)

with respect to fiscal year 2017—

(A)

for the security category, $569,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $522,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

(7)

with respect to fiscal year 2018—

(A)

for the security category, $579,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $531,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

(8)

with respect to fiscal year 2019—

(A)

for the security category, $589,500,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $541,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

(9)

with respect to fiscal year 2020—

(A)

for the security category, $602,500,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $553,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

(10)

with respect to fiscal year 2021—

(A)

for the security category, $616,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

(B)

for the nonsecurity category, $565,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

.

5.

Definition of security category

Section 250(c)(4)(B) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended to read as follows:

(B)
(i)

For fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the term security category means discretionary appropriations associated with agency budgets for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the intelligence community management account (95–0401–0–1–054), and all budget accounts in budget function 150 (international affairs).

(ii)

For fiscal years 2014 through 2021, the term security category means discretionary appropriations in budget function 050 (national defense).

.

6.

Suspension of statutory limit on the public debt until February 1, 2017

Section 2 of the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by striking May 18, 2013 and inserting January 31, 2017; and

(2)

in subsection (b), by striking May 19, 2013 each place it appears and inserting February 1, 2017.