Sequestration creates friction between Congress and OMB

When the House and Senate return from recess in September, lawmakers will only have until Jan. 2, 2013, to pass a spending bill that eliminates $1.2 trillion or more from the federal deficit, reports FCW, a sister publication of Defense Systems.

If the House Armed Services Committee hearing held Aug. 1 is any indication, the friction between Congress and the White House on the matter is intense. During the hearing, which lasted nearly three hours, lawmakers clashed with Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, after Zients blamed Congress for the potentially disastrous fallout from sequestration, the story said.

On Aug. 7, President Barack Obama signed the Sequestration Transparency Act, a law that requires OMB to explain by early September exactly what could be cut if Congress fails to prevent sequestration from taking effect.

The new legislation asks for a list of functions that are exempt from the cuts and “any other data and explanations that enhance public understanding of the sequester and actions to be taken under it.”

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