I just read the power point presentation that was given to the Republicans in the House this evening on the debt compromise and it would endanger our national security because if a committee with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats is unable to agree, our national defense would be reduced by 50% of the amount Obama increases the debt limit. No way do I give Democrats a veto over our national security needs. They have been trying to decrease our national defense for years and now we give them an open road. Our national defense should be based upon the threats we face and not some gimmick.Vote NO !
While this deal is moving in the right direction rhetorically thanks to pressure from conservatives, it still falls well short of the standards we have consistently laid out. At its core, the deal still relies on an insufficient level of cuts immediately in return for raising the debt ceiling over $2 trillion. We are skeptical of “super committees” tasked with brokering grand bargains and we are adamantly opposed to committees that are given the authority to raise taxes on the American people and to bring about the gutting of our national defense budget. This deal highlights how dysfunctional Washington has become and we will continue to oppose it as insufficient to the task at hand.
From a GOP House office as quoted by Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post:
In] the trigger, medicare cuts are capped, defense is not. Defense cuts would make approximately half of “across the board” cuts. Defense spending is typically 18% of federal spending. Hypothetically, that means the Committee can come up . . . include gang of six type revenue plan that could force the House to a choice: the committee product or the massive defense cuts in the trigger.
Members of Congress and their staff who know and care about defense are somewhere between alarmed and panicked at the emerging shape of the debt ceiling deal. (Consider this amazing on-the-record statement by Senator Joe Lieberman’s communications director to Jennifer Rubin just a few minutes ago: “Senator Lieberman is very concerned about rumors that the debt agreement now being negotiated will disproportionately cut defense spending and result in unacceptably high risk to our national security.”)
One of the great virtues of the Boehner bill that passed the House is that it more or less protects defense from further immediate cuts, and, since it has no trigger, there’s no presumption of future cuts either. Now defense is on the chopping block. The negotiations are moving away from Boehner toward Reid in terms of immediate defense cuts—and the trigger mechanism that’s being discussed could produce massive defense cuts in the out years. As one well plugged-in observer put it to me, in the talks right now, on defense, it’s now four against one on defense—Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and McConnell are all more or less happy to use defense as a cash cow or as a trading chip for other issues, and Boehner’s having trouble holding the line by himself.