The White House, via spokesman Jay Carney on Air Force One, told reporters that it would miss the legal deadline to deliver its report to Congress on the spending cuts from sequestration that are scheduled to take effect in 2013.
Under the terms of the Sequestration Transparency Act signed in August, President Obama was to tell Congress by Friday how the administration plans to implement the $109 billion in automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act.
The Office of Management and Budget has repeatedly failed to make legal deadlines. It delivered its presidential budget proposals and mid-session updates late both this year and last year.
Republicans have tried to tie the tardiness to the failure of the Senate to pass a budget resolution for the last three years.
Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), said, “”Like the [Sen. Harry] Reid majority, the White House has shown astonishingly little regard for budget law in this time of crisis.”
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who was an author of the transparency bill, took a shot at the delayed report claiming that the administration “seems to think it is above the law.”
“Americans of all stripes are required to play by the rules and follow the laws of the land. Unfortunately, by disregarding the sequestration reporting deadline, the Obama administration seems to think it is above the lawm” he said. “The American people deserve to know the president’s plan for implementing these cuts, some of which our military leaders have said will compromise our nation’s ability to protect itself.”
House Speaker John Boehner also released a statement calling on Obama put forth his plans to carry out spending cuts.
“The sequester originated from this White House, yet it refuses to level with the American people about the devastating impact it will have on our country,” Boehner said. “By proposing the sequester, the president put his own election campaign ahead of the interests of the country. He has a responsibility and legal obligation to tell the American people how he plans to implement, or replace, these devastating cuts.”
“House Republicans have passed legislation to protect our troops by replacing the sequester with common-sense spending cuts and reforms,” Boehner continued. If the president and Senate Democratic leaders summon the courage to put forth a concrete plan to replace these cuts there’s no reason we can’t work together to resolve this issue quickly. But doing nothing is shameful and irresponsible.”
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney issued a statement on the delay saying, “The American people have had enough of evasion and enough of finger pointing. They just want answers. Secretary of Defense Panetta has said these cuts will be devastating to our national security and our economy. It’s time the President stops stonewalling, stops dismantling our military, and starts providing answers.”
The White House has yet to comment following the opposition’s statements.