WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 15, 2013 -
Dear Acting-Secretary Harris:
As you know, the Budget Control Act of 2011 required Congress to enact legislation to achieve deficit reduction levels of at least $1.2 trillion by January 15, 2012. Failure to enact legislation would trigger a sequestration order - automatic, across-the-board spending cuts - to achieve these budgetary deficit-reduction goals. These indiscriminate cuts affect defense and nondefense, discretionary and mandatory spending. The American Taxpayer Relief Act delayed these automatic budget reductions until March 1, 2013.
To avoid these indiscriminate cuts, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives approved two pieces of legislation to replace the sequester with targeted, smart reforms that put the nation on the path to a balanced budget. The Senate did not take up either bill, and sequestration's across-the-board cuts went into effect as scheduled. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) must confront a 5 percent budget reduction to its discretionary programs, a 5.1 percent reduction to its non-defense mandatory programs which were not exempt under the BCA, and a 7.9 percent reduction to a defense mandatory program which was not exempt under the BCA.
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