Senate Republicans are unlikely to support the latest Democratic proposal to stop the $85 billion sequester that is now prompting governmentwide furloughs and delays at the nation’s airports.
Reid said Tuesday he plans to introuduce a bill to replenesh what’s left of the $85 billion in funds cut as part of the sequester with money that has not been spent under a fund that pays for overseas contingency operations (OCO).
The OCO contains about $650 billion, Reid said.
“Let’s use it, a small part of that, to take care of sequestration for the next five months,” Reid said Tuesday.
Reid told reporters that it is a bill Republicans should readily agree to support, since House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a leading Republican from Wisconsin and former vice presidential candidate, used cuts in OCO funding to help reduce the deficit.
But GOP aides told The Washington Examiner that Reid’s plan would basically calculate funding that was never going to be spent anyway, so it is not really saving any money.
“Its the equivalent of me saying I want to buy a BMW, tomorrow I don’t buy it and now I’m claiming I’ve made $50,000,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “I don’t think even all the Democrats will go for it.”
Reid said he would file paperwork on the bill Tuesday, but Senate parliamentary rules and an intervening bill in taxing internet sales will likely push debate on the measure into May, when lawmakers return from a weeklong recess scheduled to begin at the end of this week.