How Federal Agencies Explain Sequestration Cuts
Yesterday, we noted how House Dems are pushing for details on potential sequestration cuts to energy and environmental programs. But as our National Journal colleagues Meghan McCarthy and Fawn Johnson note today, just about every federal agency has the same response to questions over how cuts would affect them: Don't ask us. Ask the Office of Management and Budget.
Problem is, OMB isn't divulging details, and K Street is getting the cold shoulder, too. From the story:
Julius Hobson, a lobbyist at Polsinelli Shughart who represents physician groups and long-term-care facilities, said he's not surprised agencies have been mum ahead of the election--they want to avoid any information that could hurt Obama's reelection bid. The sequester was mandated under the 2011 Budget Control Act, which was agreed to by both Democrats and Republicans. But if the administration were to detail where the budget knife would actually fall, Obama could end up getting stuck with a greater share of the blame for the cuts.
"I'd be surprised if we saw any kind of information about sequestration before Election Day," Hobson said in an interview. "The only reason we have anything about sequestration now is because Republicans pushed through the Sequestration Transparency Act, and that forced OMB to put out the September report. That's all we've got, and there's not going to be anything else, at least not before the election."
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