The Senate attached a compromise amendment that requires the Obama administration to release a report on the impact of $1 trillion in automatic cuts through sequestration.
The amendment was a modified version of two separate amendments, one by Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump's new debate challenge: Silence Senate rivals gear up for debates McCain opponent releases new ad hitting his record MORE (R-Ariz.) and one by Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems call for better birth control access for female troops US wins aerospace subsidies trade case over the EU Senate Dems unveil new public option push for ObamaCare MORE (D-Wash.). The modified amendment passed by voice vote shortly after McCain and Murray reached a deal on combining their respective amendments on Thursday.
Initially, McCain had proposed an amendment only dealing with defense and Murray only with non-defense spending.
The automatic cuts through sequestration are set to take effect in January 2013, and would reduce defense and non-defense discretionary spending by roughly $500 billion each over the next decade. Nearly all Republicans and Democrats want to see the across-the-board, automatic cuts avoided, but they remain deadlocked on a way to find alternative deficit reduction to replace them.
The most vocal opponents of sequestration have pushed for the Obama administration to explain how the cuts would take place, with the idea that spelling out the cuts would raise opposition to them and help push a deal through.
While Democrats and Republicans have not been able yet to make progress on a solving sequestration, Thursday's deal is the first bipartisan step that's been taken on the issue since the supercommittee failed.
A Senate aide said that while the amendment is included on the farm bill, it could also get added to another piece of legislation if that looked to become law sooner, as the House has not passed its farm bill yet.