GOP Senate Team Pushes Back Against Defense Cuts

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 12:56 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte are continuing their nationwide campaign to head off what they called “draconian” cuts to the nation’s defense budget beginning in January unless Congress moves to stop them.
 
Appearing at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas after touring Nellis Air Force Base, the three stressed the importance of working out a bipartisan agreement to head off the initial $110 billion in automatic cuts, known as sequestration, slated to start in January, the Las Vegas Sun reported.  
 
"We are facing draconian cuts to our nation’s defense as of the first of January 2013,” Arizona's McCain told the crowd. “Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has stated unequivocally that it would devastate our nation’s defense ... if these cuts are allowed to take effect. I’m not sure how many Americans are aware of the dramatic impact that this would have, not only our equipment and training, but also on the ability to retain men and women in the military who wish to continue to serve.”
 
The senators' “Preserving America’s Strength” tour, which has already been to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Ayotte's home state of New Hampshire, is designed to sound the alarm on the automatic cuts, which were triggered when Congress' deficit reduction supercommittee failed to reach a budget agreement last year.
 
Graham acknowledged that the sequestration problem was created by both parties and that both parties have an obligation to do something about it.
 
“Congress has done some dumb things, and this is probably at the top of the list,” the South Carolinian said. “If you can’t resolve the debt situation without destroying the military, you’ve really screwed up.”
 

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