Tags: house | gop | restore | military | cuts

House GOP Moves to Restore Military Cuts

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 10:02 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

House Republicans are unveiling a hybrid spending bill Monday that could restore more than $7 billion to military accounts hit hard by automatic spending cuts that went into effect Friday.

The bill is intended to replace the continuing resolution to keep the government running that's set to expire on March 27, reports Politico. While it keeps the $85 billion sequester in place, it will also substitute a full-year budget to the Defense Department aimed at reducing dangers to military readiness if the standoff over spending continues.

Republicans are worried that the defense cuts contained in the automatic spending reductions could come back to hurt them politically.

The bill also comes as President Barack Obama is facing pressure to end the budget impasse.
One option, according to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, would be to put savings first and then add revenues later through tax reform legislation.

“The bottom line is, we’re not going to do revenue to fix sequestration,” the Republican senator said. “I am not against taxes but we don’t need any more money to run the government. We need money to get out of debt.”

The House expects to pass the replacement resolution as early as Thursday, which gives the Democratic-controlled Senate three weeks to work on the matter before the last stopgap measure expires on Mar. 27.

But Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have warned that if the GOP-controlled House bill helps the Pentagon, other adjustments will be needed for domestic programs.

Sequestration left the Defense Department with an operations and maintenance budget of $145.4 billion for the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines, about $22 billion less than what was contained in Obama's 2103 budget proposal.

According to Politico, the bill being worked on now in the House would raise that operations and maintenance budget to about $152.5 billion.

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