Obama Rejects Power to Prioritize Sequester Cuts

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Senate Republicans are promoting legislation that would temporarily suspend the sequester for a week and give President Obama the authority to direct where specific spending cuts should be made. Rather than each Agency or program bearing an equal share of the cuts, Obama could minimize or even eliminate the cuts in some areas while increasing the cuts in others. This afternoon, the White House released a strong statement threatening a swift veto if the measure were to become law.

Now, in terms of policy, I think this legislation is a bad idea. Even if it were a one-time occurrence, it puts too much spending authority in the Executive Branch. The Constitution gives Congress complete authority over spending. It obviously doesn’t dictate each dollar of spending, but it dictates the terms by which Agencies spend their appropriation. Allowing Obama to decide how to allocate spending cuts across the entire government is simply too much power in the Presidency.

The politics of the legislation, however, may have more merit.

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