Kansas Rep. Pompeo at Peace With Defense Cuts

Friday, 19 Aug 2011 05:44 AM

By Amy Woods

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U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a West Point graduate who served as an Army officer in Germany, told The Wichita Eagle this week that cuts to the Pentagon budget must remain on the negotiating table, although he is not pleased by the prospect.

“If you’re going to shrink the federal government, you’re going to have to pretty much shrink it everywhere,” Pompeo said in a meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board.

An estimated $350 billion could be slashed from the defense budget during the next 10 years if the congressional supercommittee cannot agree to trim $1.5 trillion from the national debt by Thanksgiving.

Pompeo said he “was not thrilled” that military spending, including homeland and border security, might take a direct hit. He conceded, however:  “Our national security apparatus is going to have to operate effectively in a constrained fiscal environment, as well.”

Pompeo said one of the reasons he voted earlier this month to raise the debt ceiling was because it requires the House and the Senate to vote on a balanced-budget amendment.

“They are anxious to see us do more, and I’m with them on that, to be sure,” he said of voters. “So, yeah, I get their frustration. On balance, I thought it was the right good first step. The next time we go to cut government, we’ll be doing it from a little further down the playing field.”

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