OMB to Agencies: We’ll Help You Plan for Sequestration, but We Hope it Doesn’t Happen

August 2, 2012

The Office of Management and Budget will begin “holding discussions” with federal agencies on steps to take in the event of sequestration, according to a memo sent Tuesday.

OMB acting Director Jeffrey Zients wrote in the instructions that sequestration -- automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal agencies set to take place on Jan. 2, 2013, as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act -- is bad policy and Congress should act quickly to avoid it.

“The president remains confident that Congress will act,” he wrote, “but because it has not yet made progress toward enacting sufficient deficit reduction, OMB will work with agencies, as necessary, on issues raised by a sequestration of this magnitude.”

The initial discussions, Zients said, will involve which of the agency’s programs and accounts are exempt from the cuts. His office also will help agencies prepare for reporting requirements included in the Budget Control Act.

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