Plan to prevent sequestration unlikely before election

Wednesday - 1/18/2012, 11:13am EST

Erik Wasson, staff writer, The Hill

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Every day that passes brings your agency a bit closer to automatic spending cuts under sequestration. If Congress can't figure something else out, the process of reducing spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years will start, with the 2013 budget.

But any deal to avoid sequestration probably won't happen anytime before the election, said Erik Wasson, reporter for the Hill newspaper, said in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

"The election and the election will determine what the dynamics will be," Wasson said.

The first of the sequestration cuts are really the same overall discretionary spending level but with a shift in cuts to defense and national security, Wasson said.

"There really is an onus on defense hawks to try to come up with a solution," he said.

One of those defense hawks is Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who represents a state with a heavy defense aviation presence, Wasson said.

Dicks said this week he expects a deal to prevent the sequestration process, but told the Seattle Times the plan could come after the election.

However, if GOP presidential Mitt Romney "turn up pressure" on President Obama about the planned cuts to defense, "they may be more impetus to resolve that," Wasson said.

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