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 Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: Trump gets briefing at Pentagon on ISIS, Afghanistan | Senate panel approves five defense picks | Senators want Syria study in defense bill Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Senators ask for Syria policy study in defense bill 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 MikulskiGore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Bipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day MORE (D-Md.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations panel, said about the amendment.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Healthcare: Trump plays hardball on ObamaCare | Senators revive negotiations | CBO says repeal without replace would cost 32M insurance White House working with moderates on new Medicaid proposal Senate GOP revives negotiation over ObamaCare repeal and replace 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 McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Regulation: Trump administration reveals first regulatory agenda | GOP lawmakers introduce measures to repeal arbitration rule | Exxon gets M fine for sanctions violation Overnight Healthcare: CBO predicts 22M would lose coverage under Senate ObamaCare replacement OPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderSenate panel rejects Trump funding cuts on Energy Department programs Governors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare With healthcare bill derailed, GOP wonders: What now? MORE (R-Tenn.), Mark KirkMark KirkMcConnell: Senate to try to repeal ObamaCare next week GOP senator: Not 'appropriate' to repeal ObamaCare without replacement GOP's repeal-only plan quickly collapses in Senate MORE (R-Ill.), Blunt, Jerry MoranJerry MoranThe Memo: Trump tries to bend Congress to his will Tensions linger between Trump and GOP lawmakers Trump plays hardball on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Kan.), John HoevenJohn HoevenMcCain diagnosis looms over GOP healthcare talks This week: ObamaCare repeal faces latest setback in Senate Centrist Republicans push back on GOP healthcare bill  MORE (R-N.D.), John BoozmanJohn BoozmanAn unlikely home in DC Lobbying World The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Chairman Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda Senate committee ignores Trump, House budgets in favor of 2017 funding levels Overnight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | MORE (R-Miss.).

The members who voted in favor of the amendment were Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsOPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama Rand Paul opens door to backing healthcare bill on key hurdle The Memo: Trump tries to bend Congress to his will MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiOPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama Conservative group to give GOP healthcare holdouts ‘Freedom Traitors Award’ Source: Senate leaders to offer 0 billion to win over moderates MORE (R-Alaska), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham and Kushner met to discuss immigration differences: report Overnight Energy: Exxon sues feds over M sanctions fine Senate panel rejects Trump funding cuts on Energy Department programs MORE (R-S.C.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoOPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama Cornyn: Knowing health plan ahead of vote is 'luxury we don't have' Conservative group to give GOP healthcare holdouts ‘Freedom Traitors Award’ MORE (R-W.Va.), Mikulski, Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate committee ignores Trump, House budgets in favor of 2017 funding levels Live coverage: Trump's FBI nominee questioned by senators AT&T, senators spar over customers' right to sue MORE (D-Vt.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayLawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosis Trump labor board nominees advance in Senate Dems tout failure of GOP healthcare bill MORE (D-Wash.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinGraham and Kushner met to discuss immigration differences: report Trump's FBI nominee passes committee, heads to full Senate Report: Republican says Trump doesn’t even scare Senate pages MORE (D-Ill.), Jack ReedJack ReedSenators ask for Syria policy study in defense bill Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Pentagon No. 2 | Uncertain future for Iran deal | Trump to visit Pentagon Thursday | Key general opposes military space corps Senate confirms former Boeing VP as deputy Defense secretary MORE (R.I.), Jon TesterJon TesterVulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems Democrats go in for the kill on ObamaCare repeal MORE (D-Mont.), Tom UdallTom UdallFCC chair: Trump hasn't tried to intervene on Time Warner merger Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Regulation: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule | Labor chief to review overtime rule | Record fine for Google MORE (D-N.M.), Shaheen, Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOPINION | Shailene Woodley: US should run on renewable energy by 2050 Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Callista Gingrich touts Trump's commitment to environment despite Paris deal pullout MORE (D-Ore.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsDemocrats go in for the kill on ObamaCare repeal Funeral for the filibuster: GOP will likely lay Senate tool to rest Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinSteel industry urges House panel to adopt 'Buy America' rules Major progressive group endorses Martha McSally challenger Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (D-Wis.) and Chris MurphyChris MurphyDems see huge field emerging to take on Trump Administration briefs Senate on progress against ISIS Iran deal faces uncertain future under Trump MORE (D-Conn.).