John Boehner is getting flak from hawkish Republicans for saying he has enough party backing to allow for huge automatic cuts in the budget — which include trims to defense — if President Barack Obama won’t agree to substitute other reductions.
“I don’t support that. You get into dangerous territory when you talk about using national security as a bargaining chip with the president,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, a member of the Armed Services Committee, told The Hill
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the House Speaker said as fiscal cliff talks entered the eleventh hour, the White House demanded a delay in the $109 billion in scheduled 2013 cuts split between defense and domestic discretionary programs.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden agreed to delay the sequester for two months. And they offset part of it with other cuts and by leaving $85 billion in remaining 2013 cuts in place, The Hill reports.
But one Republican lawmaker said Boehner’s position amounts to a broken promise to his conference.
“In order to get the Republican Conference to pass the debt-limit increase last time, he promised them sequestration would not go in place,” the Republican House member, who requested anonymity, told The Hill.
“To be using sequestration and these defense cuts in the next debt-limit talks certainly is pretty bad déjà vu for the Republican Conference.”
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