WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Analysis: Lawmakers Want Obama To Disclose Defense Cuts Details

Play associated audio

Sequestration — automatic budget cuts mandated by last year's debt ceiling agreement — continues to loom over the defense budget if Congress doesn't intervene. The House voted this week to require the Obama Administration to submit detailed plans for the across-the-board cuts that will take place Jan. 2.

David Hawkings, editor-in-chief of CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talks to WAMU Morning Edition host  Matt Bush about the pressure that lawmakers are facing to avoid these large cuts.

Chances this measure will clear the Senate: "I think the chances of that particular measure are pretty small. The Senate and the House have written different versions of this requirement. Both of them in general would give the president 30 days to come up with a report to Congress detailing how his administration would carry out these cuts," says Hawkings. "This is more a political gesture than an actual gesture."

On why the Obama Administration isn't disclosing this information: "Our impression is that the Administration hasn't made these detailed cuts ... because they believe that in the end, this would be terrible if this got out, for them politically, because it really would give ammunition to people," says Hawkings. "And they believe that in the end, this will be de-triggered and putting a lot of effort into making up this list would be ultimately unnecessary."

Why intensity of this issue picked up this week: "It's getting closer," says Hawkings. "Two things are getting closer. Obviously, the election is getting closer, and this Jan. 2 deadline is getting closer. And there's not much going on in Congress."

Is there any other plan to avert these cuts? "No, there really isn't. There is some deliberation as to whether these cuts take effect Jan. 2, which is what the law says," says Hawkings. "But what the law says is that these cuts take affect on Jan. 1 for a budget year that only lasts until September. In other words, a year's worth of budget cuts, in nine months. Some at the Pentagon say they have to really know by the start of the fiscal year what's happening.

NPR

Nina McLemore's Clothes Are A 'Weapon' Of Powerful Women

Nina McLemore designs clothes for powerful women: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Janet Yellen, Elena Kagan and others. She talks about how fashion can help women stand out in political office.
NPR

After Italy Quakes, Food World Delivers Support To Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

Amatrice was set to host the 50th celebration of pasta all'Amatriciana famously made there, but this week's earthquake devastated the town. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with food blogger Jeremy Cherfas.
NPR

What Should We Call This Kind of Presidential Campaign, Anyway?

One can easily imagine Hillary Clinton having some affinity with the "front porch" style campaign of the late 19th century, while Donald Trump personifies the "whistle stopping" style that came next.
WAMU 88.5

Want To Play Video Games Made In D.C.? Here's Your Chance.

An event called District Arcade brings together 23 locally made video games.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.