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Spending panel moves toward sequestration relief

Spending panel moves toward sequestration relief

The GOP-led Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment Thursday into a defense spending bill that indicates members want sequestration relief for both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

In a 18-12 vote, the amendment from Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenMenendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat' Dems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Dem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance MORE (D-N.H.) was adopted into a bill that would fund the Pentagon for fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

While the proposal doesn’t make any changes, it sends a message to the Senate about where members stand on sequestration.

“The nation’s fiscal challenges are a top priority for Congress and sequestration — non-strategic, across-the-board budget cuts — remains an unreasonable and inadequate budgeting tool to address the nation’s deficits and debt,” the amendment says.

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The proposal also says sequestration must be eased for the next two fiscal years and should be applied equally between defense and non-defense programs.

“Sequestration relief should be offset through targeted changes in mandatory and discretionary categories and revenues,” the amendment says.

“I think we all feel this way and quite strongly about it,” Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree Clinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions MORE (D-Md.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations panel, said about the amendment.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntResolution allowing Duckworth to bring baby on floor headed to full Senate This week: House GOP plots path forward McConnell sends warning over nomination votes MORE (R-Mo.), however, said he would vote against it because defense should receive more funding that non-defense programs.

“We talk all the time about prioritizing in the Senate and in Congress. The No. 1 priority of the federal government is to defend the country,” Blunt said.

He then said he’s “not comfortable” with equal increases to both defense and non-defense.

Voting against the amendment were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate blocks bill that opponents say weakens water pollution rules Pittsburgh police told to prepare for protests over potential Mueller firing: report Senate repeals auto-loan guidance in precedent-shattering vote MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSupreme Court weighs future of online sales taxes Senators press administration on mental health parity Overnight Health Care: Opioid crisis takes personal toll on Washington | Trump order targets public assistance programs | Trump to deliver speech on drug pricing MORE (R-Tenn.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill.), Blunt, Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate repeals auto-loan guidance in precedent-shattering vote Overnight Finance: Officials downplay Trump comments on trade, China currency | Fed official defends moves on bank regulation | Russia sanctions snag pits Kudlow against Haley | IRS deals with Tax Day tech trouble Senate to vote on repeal of CFPB auto-loan guidance MORE (R-Kan.), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenLobbying World Worried GOP views Trump trade war with angst Conservatives fear trade war could cripple tax cuts message MORE (R-N.D.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanSpending talks face new pressure Bill to bolster gun background checks gains enough support to break filibuster Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA MORE (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Chairman Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranChamber of Commerce makes play in Mississippi Senate race for Hyde-Smith Shelby approved as Appropriations panel chairman Cindy Hyde-Smith sworn in as Mississippi's latest senator MORE (R-Miss.).

The members who voted in favor of the amendment were Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama Family, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush Amid struggle for votes, GOP plows ahead with Cabinet picks MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators press administration on mental health parity Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe MORE (R-Alaska), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate panel moving ahead with Mueller bill despite McConnell opposition Overnight Defense: Lawmakers worry over Syria strategy | Trump's base critical of strikes | Flake undecided on Pompeo | Coast Guard plans to keep allowing transgender members | GOP chair wants to cut B from Pentagon agencies Trump draws criticism from his base over Syria MORE (R-S.C.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoFamily, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush Lawmakers propose boosting park funding with oil money Lawmakers trade barbs, torch Trump at DC soiree MORE (R-W.Va.), Mikulski, Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning Shelby approved as Appropriations panel chairman MORE (D-Vt.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenators press administration on mental health parity Top House, Senate Dems warn administration on short-term insurance Overnight Health Care: Opioid distributors summoned before Congress | Judge sets trial date in massive opioid lawsuit | Senators press DOJ to stop blocking medical marijuana MORE (D-Wash.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDHS watchdog to investigate whether children are being separated from asylum seekers: report Senate Dems press Trump on legal justification for potential Syria strike US needs to respect Latin American leadership on Venezuela crisis MORE (D-Ill.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedDem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls Senate Dems press Trump on legal justification for potential Syria strike Overnight Defense: Pompeo grilled by Dems at nomination hearing | Faces tight panel vote | Mattis insists no decision yet on Syria | Dems seek answers on National Guard border deployment MORE (R.I.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenators grill alleged robocall kingpin GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems Overnight Health Care: Rep. Debbie Dingell on the pain and tragedy of the opioids crisis | DEA moves to curb opioid oversupply | Dem says Trump pick opposes VA privatization MORE (D-Mont.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses GAO: EPA violated law with Pruitt's soundproof booth MORE (D-N.M.), Shaheen, Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Dem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate fast-tracks bill legalizing hemp as agriculture product MORE (D-Ore.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe rule-of-law party must unite around Mueller Rethinking how we handle development finance Dem senator: Americans need to be more aware of how Facebook uses their data MORE (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems MORE (D-Wis.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Dem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Overnight Defense: Lawmakers worry over Syria strategy | Trump's base critical of strikes | Flake undecided on Pompeo | Coast Guard plans to keep allowing transgender members | GOP chair wants to cut B from Pentagon agencies MORE (D-Conn.).