GOP senators demand details on automatic spending cuts, introduce bill

Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), said their Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 is needed because Obama has not laid out precisely how the cuts will be implemented in 2013.

The bill requires the administration to deliver a report on how 2013 spending will be cut by July 9.

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“As we attempt to achieve greater and more proportional savings, and prevent deep and unwise defense cuts, the administration needs to provide a detailed plan for what will happen if sequestration occurs. This bill requires the transparency that has been lacking and will shed needed light on the budget process,” Sessions said in a release.

House Republicans led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) plan to release a companion bill next week.

The bill and the report give the GOP another opportunity to hammer Senate Democrats for not producing a standalone budget resolution this year.

Democrats and the White House have said that if the GOP would consider closing tax loopholes such as for oil-and-gas companies, a compromise could be found to replace the across-the-board cuts with a combination of tax increases and targeted spending cuts.

The standoff could be costly. On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office for the first time predicted that unless the automatic spending cuts are dealt with, along with income tax increases set to take effect next year, a recession will likely occur early next year.

— This story was updated at 5:33 p.m.