Congressional Republicans are demanding that President Obama meet the Friday deadline for laying out how his administration will carry out the spending cuts from sequestration that are part of the "fiscal cliff."
“Tomorrow (September 7) is the deadline, which has us wondering … will President Obama comply with the Sequestration Transparency Act he signed into law?” the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote in a blog post.
GOP aides say they expect the White House to delay the report to prevent it from distracting from President Obama’s big acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night.
The report will for the first time detail where the sequestered cuts would come from in the budget, should Congress not act to stop them.
The House has passed a sequester replacement package that includes significant entitlement cuts, but Democrats have rejected that approach and are demanding shallower cuts along with tax increases. The standoff is certain to last beyond the election.
Missing deadlines is not unprecedented for Obama's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which was tasked with crafting the sequester report.
OMB's midsession budget review, for instance, was due by July 16, but released on July 27.
Obama this year released his 2013 budget past deadline for the third year in a row. Under the law, the budget is to be released on the first Monday in February, but came out on Feb. 13 this year.
The Obama administration also delayed the release of the budget last year, waiting until Feb. 14.
The spending cuts from sequestration that will take effect at the "fiscal cliff" on Jan. 1 were put in place by the August 2011 debt ceiling deal between Obama and the White House. The deal set up a debt supercommittee to find $1.2 trillion in deficit savings and set the automatic spending cuts as a penalty for the failure, which ultimately resulted last November.
In 2013, $109 billion will be cut from the budget through a process know as sequestration. While entitlement benefits will be spared, defense is to take a disproportionate hit.
The sequester cuts are not the only major policy changes set to take effect in 2013. The combination of the scheduled expiration of the Bush-era tax rates, a decrease in Medicare provider payments and an increased bite of the Alternative Minimum Tax could case a recession next year, according to budget analysts.
Although Republicans agreed to the supercommittee framework, Boehner’s office calls it the “Obama sequester.”
“[T]he administration has repeatedly ignored requests from Congress for ‘sequester’ information, even as top officials admit the defense cuts the White House demanded — in an effort to ensure the president wouldn't face another debt limit vote before the election — would jeopardize our national security,” the blog post states.