The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 2, 2012

Inhofe introduces anti-sequestration act bill

EDMOND — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe introduced the Sequestration Prevention Act of 2012 on Wednesday while blaming President Barack Obama for securing nearly $500 billion in defense cuts.

“These devastating cuts would result in the smallest ground fleet since 1940, the smallest fleet of ships since 1915, and the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force,” said Inhofe, R-Okla.

Congressional negotiators’ failure last fall to agree on a plan to reduce the deficit has caused the Pentagon to face budget cuts of $500 billion during the next decade. Neither did Congress agree on a budget last year, paving the way for the “sequester” of across-the-board budget cuts. As a result, $1.2 trillion in budget cuts will start in 2013 unless Congress reaches a compromise.

The legislation repeals sequestration put into place by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and offsets the cost at a total savings estimate of $61.2 billion within 10 years, Inhofe said.

“Our nation has endured more than 41 months of unemployment at or above 8 percent. Yet the president is doing nothing to address the looming fiscal cliff when $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and $1.2 trillion in sequestration spending cuts go into effect at the start of next year,” said Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Inhofe said the Sequestration Prevention Act would avoid the across-the-board cuts of sequestration with reforms to entitlement programs.

The legislation also replaces the sequestration cuts with the following proposals:

• Repeals the Affordable Care Act and Block Grants Medicaid (saves $1.1 trillion) — following Paul Ryan’s approach, this is said to reduce Medicaid spending by $1.2 trillion and will hand over the management of the program to the states

• Reduces non-defense discretionary spending to FY2006 levels (saves $952 billion)

• Freezes non-defense spending at FY06 levels through FY2017; allows 2 percent annual increase thereafter

• Block grants food stamps (saves $285 billion)

• Repeals the current food stamp program and creates a scaled-back block grant program and allows states to design and manage their own programs.  

• Reduces the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition (saves $144 billion)

• Enacts medical malpractice tort reform (saves $74 billion)

• Caps non-economic damages at $250,000

• Caps punitive damages at $250,000 or twice the amount of economic damages, whichever is greater

• Repeals funding of climate change and global warming related activities (saves $83 billion).

 

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