Obama Signs Sequestration Transparency Act

President Obama signed H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, into law on Aug. 7. The legislation requires the White House’s budget office to submit a report to Congress within the next 30 days that details the effects of budget sequestration on federal programs, including the US military’s activities, in Fiscal 2013. Some lawmakers have previously charged the Administration with not being forthcoming with such information. Unless Congress and the White House act to prevent it, the Budget Control Act’s sequester will kick in on Jan. 2, 2013, stripping $1.2 trillion from federal spending accounts through Fiscal 2021, including some $500 billion from the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repeatedly warned that sequestration would be “devastating” to the US military, given that the BCA has already cut $487 billion from the Pentagon’s budget through Fiscal 2021. Congress sent H.R. 5872 to the President in late July. “The time for fingerpointing and political recriminations has passed,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) in an Aug. 7 statement urging Congress and the Administration to prevent sequestration. (Includes AFPS report by Amaani Lyle)