President Barack Obama has proposed more than $400 billion in defense spending cuts over the next 12 years. And his selection of CIA Director Leon Panetta as his new secretary of defense shows the president wants a strong advocate for that policy, Politico reports.
|President Obama with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
Republicans are divided on the issue, with fiscal conservatives favoring substantial spending reductions for the Pentagon and military hawks opposing them.
Tea party-backed Republicans helped lead the House to strike spending on an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter jet.
As for Panetta, having spent time as director of the Office of Management and Budget, many experts expect him to advocate cutbacks that current Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been reluctant to support.
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