Republican senators are upset with President Barack Obama for failing to come up with a strategy to avert the automatic cuts in defense spending slated to begin next year.
He simply wants to use the impending reductions to force Republicans in Congress to agree to a tax hike, they say, according to The Hill
. The automatic cuts, set to total $600 billion over the next decade, were triggered by the congressional supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement to cut the deficit last November.
“All Americans are required to follow the laws of the land, and it seems that the president owes the American people a report on the impact of sequestration [automatic cuts],” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said on the Senate floor Thursday.
Obama was required by law to offer a road map of how the cuts would be implemented Sept. 6. The White House says it will release that information Friday.
“Looks like they’re just running out the clock, hoping Congress goes home to campaign until the lame duck so they can use defense cuts to get tax increases,” Thune said. “It’s clear they wanted these cuts to defense as leverage to raise taxes. We’re heading toward a train wreck, a disaster when it comes to defense spending.”
Sens. Kelley Ayotte of New Hampshire, John McCain of Arizona, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama echoed Thune’s thoughts.
“Where is the commander in chief on this? This cannot be punted until after the election,” Ayotte said. “I understand if he’s too busy campaigning right now, but this is too important.”
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