White House Issues Veto Threat of Sequestration Bill

September 12, 2012

The White House on Wednesday issued a sharp veto threat of a bill tailored to avoid Pentagon budget cuts slated to take effect in January.

The veto threat came in a state of administration policy that stated White House officials believe the bill “fails the test of fairness and shared responsibility.”

The legislation, called the National Security and Job Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., who stringently opposes new defense cuts. West’s bill would slash $19 billion from discretionary spending accounts, and also contains language that would force the president to replace billions in cuts to planned Pentagon spending set to take effect Jan. 2.

West’s legislation, not expected to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate if the lower chamber passes it, does not cover the entire $1.2 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts that would kick in in January should lawmakers fail to pass a debt-reduction bill with that same amount of cuts.

As Pentagon officials have warned, the automatic cuts would be made through a process called sequester, which would simply take a certain percentage from all non-exempt federal accounts. Shy of strategy, the cuts could cause job losses and hinder national security, the officials have warned.

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