House OKs bill to force sequester details

July 18, 2012 at 8:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. House voted Wednesday in favor of a bill Republicans said would force President Barack Obama to "show us your hand" on mandated budget cuts.

The vote was 414-2 in favor of the bill intended to require the administration to provide precise details of how it would implement $1.2 trillion in defense and domestic spending cuts mandated under legislation Congress enacted last year, Politico reported.

"All this is, is saying, Mr. President, show us your hand, show us your plan," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. "Let the American people know what the true impact is going to be on our national defense, on our economy, on a number of vital services, because you have the discretion."

The House bill resembles a Senate amendment, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., which gained easy passage in the upper chamber, Politico said.

Hensarling and Murray were co-chairs of the so-called supercommittee whose inability last year to identify mutually agreeable spending cuts led to an automatic triggering of the sequester.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., called on both parties to work together to avoid deep cuts in the defense budget, The Hill reported.

"I ask the president to put forth some leadership," McKeon said during the debate.

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said during the debate Wednesday defense cuts were included in the sequester because "our Republican colleagues deliberately chose as part of the sequester to put defense spending on the chopping block along with other spending."

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