Sen. Levin: Sequestration will not happen

Both Democrats and Republicans want to avert the sequester, but the two sides have remained deadlocked over how to find alternate deficit reductions. The sequestration cuts became law after the congressional supercommittee failed last year, and a reduction of $109 billion in 2013 would take effect Jan. 2.

As the top Democrat on defense in the Senate, Levin has said he’s holding discussions with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others to find some bipartisan consensus on sequestration. Lawmakers have suggested different plans to delay the cuts for several months, or to undo just the first year of cuts if a larger deal can’t be reached.

Levin said on Tuesday that before the election Congress should try to provide some confidence to the public that it will be able to stop sequestration. Still, any action before the election appears to be a remote possibility at this point, as the issue has become part of the presidential campaign.

It was important for Congress, Levin said, “to provide some evidence, hopefully before we recess for the election — and if not then in the lame-duck session — to provide some real confidence it’s not going to happen.”

Levin repeated the line "sequester will not happen" several times while talking to reporters.

“What I am confident of is it’s not going to happen,” he said. “Because I don’t know of anybody that wants it to happen except maybe some Tea Party folk around here who don’t care what you do to government.”