Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee are holding fast against any cuts in defense spending and against any increase in taxes.
Their position may make it harder for House Speaker John Boehner to craft a budget agreement with President Barack Obama. Democrats will want to include defense spending in any budget cuts.
Not so fast, says Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon. “I am confident there is enough bipartisan agreement on funding for the Pentagon that we can avert further deep cuts,” he said in a statement to Politico
And on the subject of taxes, “I don’t believe that after this hard-fought and narrow election, the president has any mandate to raise taxes,” McKeon said. “I agree with the speaker that we can enact pro-growth policies and tax reforms that will increase revenue without increasing tax rates.”
Other Armed Services Republicans share McKeon’s thinking. “Raising taxes during a recession has been proven time and time again to hinder economic growth,” South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson said in a statement to Politico. “It is sad that the president and the Senate are holding our military hostage by threatening to allow sequestration to occur unless taxes are raised.”
Not everyone in the party agrees with that stance. "If you can't get in there and start getting stuff out of there when you have a defense budget of 740 billion bucks and the defense budget of every major country on earth, 17 of them, including Russia and China, is $540 billion combined, who is joshing who?" former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson told The Associated Press. "That's madness, madness."
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