House Dem proposes bill to delay sequester

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who retires at the end of this Congress, proposed legislation on Sunday to delay the budget sequester for one year.

His two-page bill, H.R. 6716, would block the planned $109 billion in spending cuts for 2013 and shift those cuts to 2014 and beyond.

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The bill is one way around the sequester, as congressional leaders and the White House rush to finalize a deal to avoid January's "fiscal cliff." 

But it's not clear whether the bill would be supported by enough Republicans in the House, many of whom are demanding spending cuts and would be unlikely to support a one-year delay. 

Some GOP lawmakers hope to block the sequester to prevent defense cuts they say would weaken the military. But Republican and Democratic lawmakers are split on how to offset the cost of the sequester. 

Dicks introduced the bill on his own, with no Republican or Democratic co-sponsors.

The spending cuts are one piece of the fiscal cliff that many economists believe would contribute to reduced economic growth in 2013 if it takes effect. The other major piece is the pending tax hike from the expiring Bush-era tax rates.

On taxes, another Democratic senator, Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), proposed a separate bill Sunday that would spread out the tax hike over the next three years. Manchin's proposal would also allow the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to propose substitute cuts for the sequester.