Included in the dozens of amendments that passed with the Senate farm bill on Thursday was a measure that would require the Office of Management and Budget to report, for the first time, exactly what how much money next year’s sequester mechanism would chop, and from which programs.

While the House Armed Services Committee and non-government organizations such as the Center for Security Policy and Aerospace Industries Association have all published copious reports illustrating the straits the Defense Department would be in if the $500 billion in scheduled cuts were distributed equally across appropriations sectors like manpower and procurement, the truth is that OMB will have significant purview in determining where the cuts are taken. To date, the office has not answered repeated requests by Congress to spell out the magic formula, releasing occasional scraps of information instead.