March 1 Joint Committee Sequestration for Fiscal Year 2013
B-324723, Jul 31, 2013
The failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose, and Congress and the President to enact, legislation to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion triggered the sequestration process in section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (BBEDCA), as amended. Section 251A required the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to calculate, and the President to order, a sequestration of discretionary and direct spending on March 1, 2013. BBEDCA also required OMB to submit a report to Congress on that same date.
The House Budget Committee requested that GAO review several aspects of sequestration including the President's March 1 sequestration order and OMB's March 1 report; agencies' planning and implementation of sequestration and what alternatives were considered; and the effects of sequestration on agency operations and on services to the public. As agreed with the Committee, this opinion responds to the request that GAO review whether the March 1 actions--OMB's calculations, the President's sequestration order, and OMB's report--complied with section 251A of BBEDCA. GAO concludes that the March 1 actions satisfied the BBEDCA requirements.