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OMB Memo: Wartime Funds Fall Under Sequestration

Wartime funding is not exempt from cuts under sequestration, according to a recent memo from the Office of Management and Budget.

OMB Acting Director Jeff Zients responded to inquiries from Reps. Buck McKeon, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Mike Rogers about possible flexibility of sequestration under the Budget Control Act.

McKeon chairs the House Armed Services Committee, Ros-Lehtinen chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee and Rogers chairs the Intelligence Committee.

Zients wrote that OMB and the Defense Department found that no statutory basis” to exempt wartime funding, known as overseas contingency operations, from sequestration cuts.

He added the finding was a legal determination and not a policy choice.

The sequester is scheduled to take effect in January 2013 and Zients wrote that Congress still has time to pass a budget before the sequester comes into play.

Zients added that the Congress should pass a bipartisan and balanced deficit reduction bill to avoid sequestration from taking effect in January 2013.

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