Sequester Report Due September 6 Won't Help Congress
As expected, President Obama signed the "Sequestration Transparency Act" (H.R.5872) on Tuesday, so the report to Congress that supposedly details what will be cut by how much if the sequester occurs on January 2, 2013, is required to be sent to the Hill by September 6,
This is likely to be a far more valuable event for the White House than the House and Senate. If the recent testimony by OMB Acting Director Jeff Zients before the House Armed Services Committee is any indication, the report will simply apply the sequestration rules in the Budget Control Act -- the law that provided for the sequester if the inevitable happened and the anything-but-super committee failed to agree on a deficit reduction plan -- in as bureaucratic a manner as possible. With the likely exception of excepting uniformed military personnel as the president is allowed to do, the report is very likely to apply the rules in a straight forward manner with no gimmicks or side comments about preferences.
And as Zients did in his testimony, the administration will then tell Congress that this is what it approved on a bipartisan basis and that the president would prefer that the sequester not happen.