Bill would let Pentagon blunt impact of sequestration

Bill would let Pentagon blunt impact of sequestration
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday put forward a bill that would give the Defense Department the authority to move around up to $50 billion within its accounts to lessen the effects of sequestration.

“With a potential sequestration in 2016, my bill will allow the Secretary of Defense the ability to prioritize and target reductions within the DOD, and ensure equipment and readiness of our service members is preserved and maintained,” Paul said in a statement.

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The measure — titled the Military Sequester Flexibility Act — comes the same day House Budget Committee backed a plan to keep in place the $523 billion spending cap for defense spending imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

However, it also includes more than $70 billion in funds for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), along with a $20 billion reserve fund that will likely be added to the account once the bill reaches the floor.

Meanwhile, the Senate Budget Committee approved a spending blueprint that boosts the Pentagon’s war funding account from $58 billion to $96 billion.

Paul’s measure would require the secretary of Defense to notify lawmakers of any potential move and to prove that the transfer is “necessary in the national interest."

All transfers would have to be approved by Congress and the authority itself would sunset in 2023, according to the bill’s text.