GOP Moves to Avoid Defense Cuts

by Betsy Woodruff

Senate Republicans are readying legislation to prevent significant additional cuts to defense spending, which were triggered by the failure of the deficit supercommittee last month. Sen Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.), along with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), and John McCain (R., Ariz.), announced that when Congress returns from the holiday recess he will introduce a bill that will produce enough savings elsewhere in the budget to make sequestration unnecessary.

Ayotte said the triggered cuts — about $500 million — would be devastating to our national security, especially since the Department of Defense will already cut $450 billion over the next ten years under the Budget Control Act. “I think sometimes people forget that,” she said. “It’s not that we’re leaving defense off the table — we’re already asking them to make significant reductions.”

Graham questioned the idea of sequestration as a motive for finding a way to reduce the deficit.

“The idea that if you fail to do the most minimum task, ‘Let’s gut the military!’ Who thought that would be a good idea?” he said. “So if a bunch of politicians who can’t seem to walk across the street together in a single file fail to do the basic task, let’s fire thousands of Americans who have been at war for 10 years as the remedy. It offends the hell out of me that we would even consider that.”

President Obama has threatened to veto any effort to undo the automatic cuts.

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