Chairman McKeon: Dems Need to Offer a Plan to Stop Disastrous Military Cuts
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) wrote in Politico today that the Budget Control Act’s automatic military cuts would cripple America’s national security. But while “Republicans have offered multiple solutions to avert a crisis,” “Democrats are cynically running out the clock” and “have offered nothing but vague talking points about revenues and tax increases.”
“America would have its smallest ground force since before World War II, its smallest Navy since before World War I and its smallest air force Air Force in the history of the service,” says Chairman McKeon. In fact, a coalition of 31 organizations representing more than 5.5 million American troops and veterans says these cuts would “require massive force reductions of more than 200,000,” while threatening the “compensation, health care, and other support commitments” made “to generations of servicemembers, families, and survivors” at a time of high unemployment and stagnant wages.
“House Republicans have offered multiple solutions to avert a crisis, including a reconciliation package passed by the House that would avert sequestration in 2013,” says Chairman McKeon. The House-passed bill replaces arbitrary cuts with common-sense spending reductions and reforms. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the House bill reduces the deficit by an additional $242.8 billion beyond the Budget Control Act while protecting our troops and our national security.
“As they have made clear publicly, major national security officials in the Obama administration consider the prospect of sequestration to be disastrous,” says Chairman McKeon. Democrats acknowledge these automatic cuts would be “devastating” to our armed forces. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says they would “hollow out the force and inflict severe damage to our national defense.” But neither President Obama nor Senate Democrats have offered a plan of their own to stop them.
Speaker John Boehner said “it is critical that we not jeopardize support for our troops and their families, particularly at a time when our economy and wages are stagnant.” That’s why the House has taken action. Now “[i]t’s time for the president and Democrats and to do their part,” says Chairman McKeon. “I’m eager for the president and Senate Democrats to offer an actual plan so we can begin that work right away.” Read the Chairman’s full op-ed here.