As promised, Senate Democrats released an outline of their sequester replacement bill yesterday, all but guaranteeing the sequester will begin on schedule this March 1st.

The Senate sequester bill prevents all $85 billion of this year’s scheduled spending cuts and pays for it with $55 billion in tax hikes, $27.5 billion in cuts to agriculture subsidies, and $27.5 billion in cuts to defense spending. None of the spending cuts or tax hikes are written to take effect until 2014, when the economy is supposedly finally supposed to start growing again.

The lion’s share of the tax hikes, $54 billion of the $55 billion, comes from the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which would create a new 30 percent minimum tax rate on incomes over $1 million. The other billion comes higher taxes on oil companies and American companies that earn profits overseas.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was immediately dismissive of the Democrat effort. “When the Senate passes a plan, I’ll be happy to take a look at it,” Boehner told The Daily Caller. “Until they pass a plan, there’s no reason for me to comment on what they’re gonna do or not do.”

Both the Senate and House are out of town next week for President’s Day. That leaves just one week for the Senate to pass the Democrat bill before the sequester begins to kick in. Don’t hold your breath.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Leave it to states to raise the minimum wage
Mark Tapscott: Reflections on the uncertain state of the union
Tim Carney: Online dating regulatory wars
Michael Barone: It wasn’t just redistricting that gave Republicans their House majority
Byron York: Obama caught between friends in fight over Keystone XL pipeline
Phil Klein: Senate blocks Chuck Hagel nomination — for now

In Other News
Fox News, Hundreds reportedly injured by blasts as meteor falls in Russia: A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 500 people, many of them hurt by broken glass.
National Journal, Why Walmart Moms Are Skeptical About Obama’s Agenda At a time when President Obama looks to move his agenda through Congress, one of the crucial demographic groups he carried in 2012 — mostly white, working-class women with children at home who shop at least once a month at the big-box retailer — aren’t convinced by the rhetoric.
The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Grant Funded Workers’ Play at LG Chem Factory: The Obama administration’s electric car efforts took another hit on Wednesday after a federal inspection found a South Korean advanced battery maker never scaled up U.S. production despite receiving $142 million in federal grants.
The New York TimesLautenberg, Oldest Member of Senate, Won’t Run Again: Facing a fight for his seat from within his own party, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey said Thursday that he will retire rather than seek a sixth term next year.

Lefty Playbook
Fred Kaplan says the Hagel vote means Republicans can never be trusted on national security again.
Steve Kornacki says the blocking of Hagel is completely unprecedented.
Sahil Kapur lists Four Ways Obamacare Could Still Fail.

Righty Playbook
Landon Zinda says blocking Hagel is completely precedented.
Ed Pinto on How the FHA helped cause the housing bubble.
Robert Zubrin outlines a Growth Agenda.