OMB gears up for sequestration

With massive budget cuts set to take effect early in 2013, the Office of Management and Budget is making plans to meet with agency heads to discuss the implementation of the sequestration order.

In a July 31 memo, OMB Acting Director Jeffrey Zients informed agency heads his office will be holding talks about the how the sequester would be implemented. The $1.2 trillion sequester was automatically triggered when the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction in November 2011 botched its attempt to find ways to reduce the budget deficit. 

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President Barack Obama “remains confident that Congress will act, but because it has not yet made progress toward enacting sufficient deficit reduction, the Office of Management and Budget will work with agencies, as necessary, on issues raised by a sequestration of this magnitude,” Zients wrote.

OMB also plans to engage with agencies on expected reporting requirements set by Congress that are related to, but separate from, planning for or adopting a sequestration order under the Budget Control Act, Zients said.

The exact amount of money being cut can only be calculated once FY 2013 funding levels are determined, Zients said. OMB will have to gather information on sequestrable amounts and gauge the percentage reductions necessary to implement the cuts before any sequestration order is issued.

“In the meantime, agencies should continue normal spending and operations since more than five months remain for Congress to act,” Zients said.

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Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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Reader comments

Tue, Aug 7, 2012 Richard

@Bruce Sorry, but it is true. Obamacare is even borrowing $500B from Medicare to help pay the $940B. Sad. Borrow from one bankrupt program to help pay for another. And we pay for it all. Money spent on the military is money well spent. That "black budget" you refer to is what killed Osama bin Laden. That was an amazing victory for our military and I will willingly continue to pay taxes for that. I will unwillingly continue to pay taxes for Obamacare. I am forced to pay those, but I will obey the law.

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 Bruce

"We just increased our national debt by $940B with the healthcare overhaul" is a total lie. Even so, our black budget and "defense" spending way outstrip such an amount.

Thu, Aug 2, 2012

Congress has been acting on bills. The problem is in the Senate! Dah!

Thu, Aug 2, 2012 Richard

We just increased our national debt by $940B with the healthcare overhaul. Why the heck are we now immediately talking about reducing the debt?? Manic/depressive government. Talking about whip sawing everyone!

Thu, Aug 2, 2012

At the FAA Administrator Huerta is effectively saying "don't worry be happy". If the Agency's response to the furlough of late is any indication the FAA will be totally ill prepared, and the workforce misled and misinformed

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