Senators Schatz and Durbin Introduce Sequestration Relief Act of 2015

Legislation Would Lift Sequestration Spending Caps

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Sequestration Relief Act of 2015 which would restore funding for critical domestic and defense programs.  Senator Schatz serves on five key Appropriations subcommittees: Defense; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Legislative Branch.  Senator Durbin serves as Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

“This legislation will help blunt some of the negative impacts sequestration has had on working families and our economy,” said Senator Schatz.  “It will provide Congress with an increased ability to restore funding for numerous priorities and needs, such as veterans benefits, medical research, education, infrastructure, and national security.”

“As a result of the forced budget savings put in place by the sequester, we have fallen behind in critical areas of federal investment, like transportation and basic medical research,” Senator Durbin said. “Instead of taking a hammer to the federal budget, we should be using a scalpel.”

In 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act which set in place a series of caps on spending.

The Sequestration Relief Act of 2015 would allow for increased investment at home and in support of our national defense for the next two years by lifting the budget caps so that our families, our cities and counties, and our military leaders have a reprieve while Congress attempts to permanently fix the sequester.

The legislation would provide reasonable flexibility to provide additional resources to support programs important to the nation and Hawai‘i and increase funding for national defense, transportation, health, energy, and social welfare programs.

A summary detailing the legislation is available online here.