Lawmakers Hunt Sequester Alternative in Defense, DHS Savings

March 19, 2013

House lawmakers on Tuesday probed for alternatives to sequestration’s across-the-board budget cuts, interrogating executives and auditors from agencies many lawmakers associate with wasteful spending -- the Defense and Homeland Security departments.

The resulting fireworks touched on scenarios ranging from Cabinet members resigning to fighter planes being canceled to inspectors general gaining more subpoena authority.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., pinch-hitting as chairman at the start of the hearing, one of a series held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, accused the Obama administration of “touting, now that the sequester in effect, allegedly harmful consequences rather than identifying waste fraud and abuse.” He rattled off a list of questionable federal expenditures such as $27 million for pottery classes in Morocco, a half-million on specialty shampoos for dogs and cats, $14,000 on swine manure management. He then proposed that the committee “work in a bipartisan, productive and non-alarmist manner.”

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