Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | mac thornberry | donald trump | democrats | debt deal | military

Thornberry: Trump-Dems Deal 'Does Not Fix Military Situation'

(CNN's "New Day"/Twitter)

By    |   Thursday, 07 September 2017 02:22 PM

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry said Thursday he doesn't really care who President Donald Trump struck a deal with when he and Democrats agreed to work toward a permanent repeal of the nation's debt ceiling, but he does care about the consequences.

"I don't know what his motivations were, and frankly I don't care who makes a deal with whom," the Texas Republican told CNN's "New Day" program. "What I care about are the results, what the consequences are, and unfortunately, this does not fix our military situation."

Thornberry pointed out that there have been an increasing number of accidents, and the military is becoming under even more stress than usual.

"We have a world that's going more dangerous, such as [with] North Korea," the lawmaker said. "This will just have the funding measure that makes none of those problems better."

Thornberry said he does not know what Trump was thinking, but it's "no question" that it's a political reality that items getting through the Senate often need 60 votes.

"But again, what matters I think are the consequences," he stressed. "What the country needs, what the military needs, what the world needs is some stability, so a three-month debt limit does not provide stability for the financial markets, and it certainly does not provide the funding stability that the military needs to solve these readiness issues, to increase munitions, to beef up our missile defense as threats grow worse and worse."

One of the rationales for the decision was so that a focus could be put on tax reform, after funding for Hurricane Harvey was approved, without having the debt ceiling issue looming immediately.

"Of course it's important," said Thornberry. "We've got to put money in FEMA immediately. Yesterday, the House passed a bill to do that. That is absolutely true. But I don't like the kicking the can down the road for any purpose if kicking the can down the road means greater danger, more maintenance problems for our military. I'm for tax reform, but in the meantime, men and women who serve our nation are risking their lives to help keep us safe and to hold back these adversaries."

Thornberry said the debt limit question should have been pushed out for 18 months, not just three, because that would provide more stability.

"You're absolutely right, we won't solve our readiness problems," said Thornberry. "We can't fix our ships and planes and so forth in three months or six months, but we can get on a good trajectory. In July, the House passed a defense bill by the largest bipartisan majority in the last eight years that does exactly that."

The three-month measure, though, will cut the funding designed to fix those problems by more than $50 billion, said Thornberry.

He said he also agrees with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the Democrats' plan "ridiculous and disgraceful."

"I'd probably use those adjectives and more, but I wouldn't put Democrats on it," said Thornberry. "The truth is there is bipartisan responsibility for the cuts in the defense budget and for not giving the military planners the stability and certainty that they need to do the job we expect them to do. So we cut their budget, but we say, you've still got to defend us from North Korea, still have to protect us from terrorism, you still have to patrol the South China Sea and watch the Russian exercises."

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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry said Thursday he doesn't really care who President Donald Trump struck a deal with when he and Democrats agreed to work toward a permanent repeal of the nation's debt ceiling, but he does care about the consequences.
mac thornberry, donald trump, democrats, debt deal, military, fix
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2017-22-07
Thursday, 07 September 2017 02:22 PM
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