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Sen. Tom Cotton Calls for Repeal of 'Ill-Conceived' Budget Law

Image: Sen. Tom Cotton Calls for Repeal of 'Ill-Conceived' Budget Law
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By    |   Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 04:28 PM

One lawmaker said a 2011 law has made it awfully difficult for the military to plan ahead and it needs to be repealed.

In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., argued that the Budget Control Act of 2011 has run its course and should be spiked from the books.

"In retrospect, the Budget Control Act of 2011 was ill-conceived from the start," Cotton wrote. "Rather than attack America's spending problem at its root, the law only clipped a few stray leaves off the branches."

The law signed by President Barack Obama placed caps on discretionary spending for 10 years and forced budget sequesters if a 12-person committee is not able to find savings in government spending.

"Half the savings would come from the defense budget and half from non-defense spending, meaning the military would absorb 50 percent of the cuts, even though it accounts for only about 16 percent of all spending," Cotton wrote.

What followed after the law took effect were sequesters and continuing resolutions to kept the government running, not an actual budget.

Cotton argued that the military is feeling the pinch at a time when it needs to be growing to confront global threats.

"This bust-and-boom budgeting cycle — in which Congress pretends for years to adhere to budget caps until it frantically raises them at the last minute — cripples the military's long-term planning abilities," Cotton wrote. "Pentagon planners have to buy year by year, when it takes decades to do something as basic as build a Navy ship.

"It's inexcusable to keep this charade up when we have only 275 ships — former chief of naval operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert has testified that the Navy needs 450 — in a world that's growing only more dangerous. It's irresponsible not to write a budget and stick to it based on current needs and threats."

Cotton added that repealing the Budget Control Act would not increase overall spending if a budget is properly assembled.

A budget blueprint introduced by House Republicans last week boosts military spending and cuts spending from other programs.

Adm. John Richardson, the Navy's chief of operations, said in May the service needs more ships to keep up with other countries.

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One lawmaker said a 2011 law has made it awfully difficult for the military to plan ahead and it needs to be repealed.
tom cotton, calls, repeal, ill-conceived, budget, law
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2017-28-26
Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 04:28 PM
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