Udall-Collins have plan to temper cuts

The heads of federal agencies would have greater latitude to reduce their budgets than is now contemplated under the sequester if a plan proposed by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and a GOP senator gains traction.

Udall and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will introduce a plan Monday to allow managers to propose targeted cuts while also allowing for appropriate congressional oversight.

Udall and Collins’ bill would allow individual federal agencies to propose how they each would more strategically implement automatic sequester cuts.

The bill would require that the Senate and House appropriations committees work with the administration to provide oversight and ultimately approve the spending plans.

“Blunt, shortsighted budget cuts are not the responsible way to reduce the deficit,” Udall said in a statement.

The plan to be proposed would allow the White House and Congress to “work together to replace arbitrary cuts with smarter, focused spending reductions,” Udall said.

The “Udall-Collins plan is the only immediate way to temper the effects the sequester will have on our economy and national security,” Udall said.

Under the plan, the administration’s spending proposal for a given department would be given to the Senate and House appropriations committees for review and approval, providing appropriate Congressional oversight and input.

It also would allow the Defense Department to start new projects and programs that have been approved, but have been on hold for lack of a full-year defense appropriations bill, Udall said.


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