This from POLITICO:
The showdown over the sequester is at full force on Capitol Hill this week.
With former Vice President Dick Cheney set to arrive in Congress on Tuesday for a rare talk with House Republicans about looming cuts to the Pentagon, partisan sparring continued to escalate: Democrats repeated their hard line on the sequester and expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the rich as Republicans accused their counterparts of inviting another recession.
The House this week will vote on a defense spending bill as well as a plan ordering the Obama administration to say how it would go about implementing the $500 billion in defense cuts set to kick in on Jan. 2.
Chart: From the National Review
It all adds up to a preview of the year-end battle royal expected to dominate Washington.
“You have found over the last several months, people have started to become more and more aware of what’s going on,” said Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, who represents a defense-heavy district in southeastern Virginia. “The unbelievable result of sequestration is starting to hit home to people and they’re starting to say, ‘My gosh, these guys can’t be serious about letting this happen.’”
The flurry of activity was triggered by a sequester deadline enacted into law almost a year ago to force Congress to reach a deficit-reduction deal. It was meant to force Congress to deal with its deficit problem — or else face $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to defense and nondefense programs that neither party wants.
Now the reality of those cuts — and the inability of Capitol Hill to cut a deal to avoid them — is coming into focus.