U.S. House Democrats introduce sequester alternative

May 21, 2013 at 3:52 PM

WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) -- Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday offered their fifth bill to repeal harsh spending cuts they said Republicans want to remain in effect.

The bill, authored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., aims to reduce the federal deficit by $181 billion over a decade. Fifty-four percent of the reduction would be achieved by raising taxes and 46 percent would come from spending cuts, The Hill reported.

Van Hollen said Republicans have blocked Democratic measures to replace the across-the-board sequestration spending cuts that went into effect in March.

"House Democrats will keep working to replace the sequester and fighting for working families," he said. "It's time for the GOP to join that effort instead of refusing to even negotiate."

The tax increases are mainly by implementing a minimum tax on millionaires and by ending subsidies to oil and gas companies. The spending cuts come mainly in the Pentagon budget, where the bill lowers spending caps on several departments. The bill also alters some agriculture subsidies, The Hill said.

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