Obama Wants To End Sequestration, Increase Domestic And Military Spending

| by Kathryn Schroeder
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President Barack Obama wants to increase domestic and military spending, and put an end to spending caps known as “sequestration” in the fiscal 2016 budget.

The announcement was planned for a meeting with congressional Democrats in Philadelphia on Jan. 29.

The full fiscal 2016 budget is planned to be unveiled on Monday, Feb. 2, by the White House.

The budget reportedly includes many programs Republicans are unlikely to support, reports Reuters.

Obama’s budget hopes to find common ground with lawmakers from both parties to prevent sequester cuts from returning when the fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. A White House official said it will do that by trimming “inefficient spending programs” and eliminating tax loopholes.

"The president will propose to end the across-the-board sequester cuts that threaten our economy and our military," the official said. "The ... budget will fully reverse those cuts for domestic priorities, and match those investments dollar-for-dollar with the resources our troops need to keep America safe."

Republicans in the House and Senate want to eliminate the sequester cuts, too, but feel the Obama budget includes too many tax increases and too much spending, reports USA Today.

"Republicans believe there are smarter ways to cut spending than the sequester and have passed legislation to replace it multiple times, only to see the president continue to demand tax hikes," said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican. "Until he gets serious about solving our long-term spending problem it's hard to take him seriously."

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office issued a response to Obama’s proposals, noting the administration has tried to do away with the cuts before without support from Democrats or Republicans, due to the tax increases.

"This is not a surprise," said Don Stewart, McConnell's deputy chief of staff. “Previous budgets submitted by the president have purported to reverse the bipartisan spending limits through tax increases that the Congress — even under Democrats — could never accept."

The sequestration spending caps went into effect in 2013 but were lessened in 2014 and 2015 under a bipartisan bill. The so-called compromise bill ends with the current fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Sources: USA Today, Reuters / Photo Source: Screenshot/YouTube