Shutdown Deal Gives Pentagon No Sequester Flexibility; Buck McKeon Comments

us senateThe U.S. Senate reached a deal on Oct. 15 to end the partial shutdown and avoid a debt default, Defense News reported Wednesday.

John Bennett writes legislators voted 81-18 to raise the debt ceiling to Feb. 15 and finance the federal government through Jan. 15.

The measure removed a sequestration flexibility proposal for top Defense Department officials, according to the report.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, recently suggested that Pentagon leaders be authorized to decide on what program to prioritize and which budget to trim due to sequestration, the report says.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., opposed the proposal for fear that it would make sequestration too tolerable, Defense News reports.

Bennett writes the 2011 Budget Control Act mandates $1 trillion budget cuts for domestic and defense spending by 2021 and the initial $50 billion cuts took effect in March.

Senators plan to negotiate with the White House over the next three months on measures to replace sequester cuts, according to Defense News.

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