With Approaching Budget Talks, Ribble Highlights Sequestration Flexibility Act

Aug 30, 2013 Issues: Budget, Congressional Reform

Washington, D.C. - With the new fiscal year approaching, President Obama and congressional leaders in both parties have begun to raise concerns about the economic impact of the next round of sequestration. With the unemployment rate still above 7 percent, Congress needs to strike the right balance between restraining spending and creating economic growth. Providing additional flexibility to federal agencies and departments will allow agency heads to root out waste while still making critical investments and protecting their workers.

The following is a statement by Congressman Ribble on the new discussions:

“With the sequester debate gearing up again, instead of continuing to argue whether or not to eliminate the sequester or raise taxes to stop the spending cuts, Congress should first focus on ways to address the rigid, harmful, across-the-board cuts that so many senior federal officials have complained about. Instead of continuing to fight with each other, we in Congress should at least be working to find ways to minimize the negative impacts of sequestration on vital programs and our economy, and H.R. 816 does just that.”

H.R. 816, The Sequestration Flexibility Act:

•    Requires federal agency or department managers to reduce their budget by the same amount from sequestration, but provides the flexibility to cut waste and low-priority projects under their jurisdiction.

•    Agencies cannot redirect funds from their various accounts to increase funding above pre-sequestration levels.

•    To provide additional transparency, each department must also issue a report to the Congressional committee of jurisdiction within 15 days of the actual transfer of funds.