U.S.

February 8, 2013

GOP lawmakers offer alternative to automatic cuts

A group of GOP lawmakers from House and Senate Feb. 6 offered a plan to cut the federal workforce and use the savings to replace some $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs.

The legislation reprises a plan offered last year that failed to advance.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., leads the group, which agrees with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that a looming 8 percent cut to this year’s Pentagon budget would recklessly harm the nation’s military.

McKeon said the Pentagon faces “dire straits.”

The plan would generate replacement savings by requiring a 10 percent reduction in the government’s workforce through attrition – replacing one out of every three employees who leave the government.

The automatic cuts, dubbed a sequester in Washington-speak, result from the failure of the 2011 deficit “supercommittee” to meet its assignment to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over a decade. This year’s $109 billion round of cuts was trimmed by $24 billion in last month’s deal to avert the “fiscal cliff,” but the Pentagon still faces an 8 percent, $42.7 billion budget cut in the seven months starting in March and ending in September.

The military’s top brass warns that the cuts would create a “hollow force” and would devastate military readiness and training. While war costs and salaries for men and women in uniform would be exempt, those exceptions also serve to make the cuts to other Pentagon accounts, like weapons procurement and civilian pay, more harsh.

“Our enemies would love for this to happen,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.

Non-defense programs face an equal $42.7 billion cut, including a $29 billion, or 5 percent, cut to domestic agencies.

President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats say new tax revenues need to be part of any measure to replace the automatic cuts, which economists warn would slow the economy if allowed to strike on March 1. Obama Feb. 5 urged Congress to act to replace the cuts with tax revenue from closing special interest loopholes and with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Senate Democrats are working on a strategy for replacing the sequester, and the subject was a topic at a party retreat in Annapolis, Md., this week. But they have yet to unify behind a plan.

House Republicans, meanwhile, acted twice last year to erase this year’s portion of the sequester, most recently in December, when a replacement measure squeaked through the chamber on a 215-209 vote, with 21 Republicans opposed.

But that legislation died with the expiration of the previous Congress. Republicans control eight fewer votes this year, raising questions as to whether they could pass the measure now.

Some tea party conservatives seeking to shrink government are rooting for the cuts to take effect, leading to splits in the party.

“If you feel comfortable cutting the government this way, then you’ve lost your way as much as the president. What happened to the party of Ronald Reagan who said the No. 1 goal of the federal government … is to fund the Department of Defense?” Graham said. “What happened to that party? Well I intend to get that party back.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 17, 2015

News: Army extends benefits to Hood shooting victims - The Army will provide “all possible benefits” to victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting who recently were awarded the Purple Heart, the service announced April 16.   Business: Rolls-Royce lands biggest deal in its 109-year history - U.K. engineering company Rolls-Royce has won the largest order in...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

Army orders financial benefits for 2009 Fort Hood victims Dozens of soldiers and surviving family members of the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting are receiving additional Army pay that they felt was long overdue. The announcement from Army Sec. John McHugh April 16 comes a week after 36 Purple Hearts were awarded to victims and...
 
 
NASA illustration

NASA awards radiation challenge winners, launches next round

NASA illustration This illustration depicts our heliosphere, showing the approximate locations of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft. Galactic cosmic rays originate outside the heliosphere and stream in uniformly from all direc...
 

 

U.S. Air Force completes operational testing on Raytheon’s MALD-J

Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed operational tests of Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer, satisfying all requirements to attain Initial Operational Capability. “MALD-J’s unique capabilities have been proven in 42 successful flight tests during the last two years and brought us closer to full rate production,” said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Raytheon...
 
 

Northrop Grumman to expand North Dakota presence

In partnership with local leadership, Northrop Grumman confirmed its dedication to the future of unmanned systems development in the Red River Valley region by signing a lease agreement to anchor the new Grand Sky Technology Park in Grand Forks County. Northrop Grumman is working to identify specialized opportunities for the Grand Sky facility. The opportunities,...
 
 

Raytheon awarded more than $2 billion for an International Patriot system

Raytheon announced April 17 it has been awarded a contract worth over $2.0 billion to deliver the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to an undisclosed international customer. The contract, awarded April 2, 2015, and booked in the second quarter as a direct commercial sale, includes fully digitized new-production Patriot fire units with the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>