House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., is taking it to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for accepting the $500 billion in automatic defense spending cuts scheduled to begin next year.
“The president’s vision of an ‘American Century’ is hollow, dangerous, and takes for granted the military strength and power required to protect the homeland, assure our allies, and keep our enemies at bay,” McKeon said in the text of a speech to the National Defense Industrial Association Thursday, The Hill
|Rep. Buck McKeon
As for the majority leader, “We all know what Sen. Reid won’t admit — that he is using cuts to our military as a cynical tool to force his domestic agenda in the Senate,” McKeon said.
Earlier this month, Reid torpedoed a House GOP move to lessen the sequestration of Pentagon outlays, saying the Defense Department must “bear their share of the burden.”
A policy of increased taxes, increased regulation, and more government programs is unacceptable, McKeon said. “That agenda can’t get passed on the backs of public support, so he is trying to pass it on the backs of our troops.”
The automatic spending cuts stem from last year’s agreement to raise the debt limit. The cuts were triggered by the failure of the congressional supercommittee on deficit reduction to reach an agreement last November.
Defense and non-defense discretionary spending are each slated to endure $500 billion in decreases over the decade that begins in January. But Congress can change the law. Both parties agree it should be modified but disagree on how to do it.
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