Former Vice President Dick Cheney will discuss the automatic defense spending cuts that are scheduled to begin next year with top House Republicans Tuesday, senior GOP sources told Politico
He will confer with Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s whip team and will attend a meeting of the Elected Leadership Committee, which includes Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, McCarthy, and other top GOP House leaders.
Cheney’s aim is to get lawmakers “ginned up” about the importance of curbing the automatic cuts, which are slated to total $600 billion over the next 10 years, a knowledgeable source told Politico. The reductions were implemented as a result of the failure of the congressional supercommittee to reach an agreement on slashing the deficit last November.
Republicans have sought to reverse the cuts in combination with spending reductions elsewhere in the budget. They criticize Democrats for having no plan to halt the Pentagon cuts.
Cheney’s trip to Washington, D.C., from Wyoming shows the GOP leadership seeks party luminaries to drive home the importance of reining in the defense cuts.
Cheney occupied a seat in the House from 1975 to 1989, serving as House Republican Conference chairman and minority whip. The former Defense Secretary has been outspoken in opposition to President Barack Obama’s policies and recently hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney.
The House floor schedule focuses on efforts to shrink the Pentagon reductions this week. Republicans will approve the Defense Department’s spending bill and will try to pass legislation offered by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that would make the White House specify what exactly it expects to cut. Neither bill has a chance to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
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