Republicans already planning to prevent defense cuts

posted at 5:50 pm on November 21, 2011 by Tina Korbe

The Super Committee this afternoon officially announced its failure — but, even before that announcement, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon was already pledging to reverse any cuts to defense engendered by that failure. From Politico:

“I will not be the armed services chairman who presides over crippling our military,” he said.

The law that created the 12-member, bipartisan panel in August requires $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years — half of which would come from the Pentagon and the rest from domestic cuts — if committee members could not agree on a plan to save at least as much in another way.

The panel was on the verge of admitting defeat Monday afternoon, though several panel members gathered in Sen. John Kerry’s office in an eleventh-hour bid to reach agreement.

The deficit deal reached last summer already calls for some $350 billion in cuts to defense spending over 10 years; the $600 billion would come on top of that.

All of that is comforting from a national security standpoint, but underscores why the Super Committee deadline wasn’t a deadline at all. The Fix’ Chris Cillizza explains:

Sequestration — the package of cuts hitting politically sensitive areas including defense —doesn’t trigger until January 2013, which, coincidentally, comes after the November 2012 election. (And, yes, we are being sarcastic.)

That gives Congress — at least in theory — an entire year to figure out how to avoid or undo sequestration. And, it allows the American public to have their say before Congress makes any final decision on the best way forward to preserve our fiscal house. (See our mention above about Congress as a reactive institution.)

We’ve written before that Congress approaches climactic legislative decisions like a college student writing a term paper. They wait, wait, wait until the last possible minute then work like mad to get it done before the deadline. (Mrs. Fix, we are looking at you.)

The reality of the supercommittee is that the paper — or at least the bulk of it — isn’t due for another year. And no one writes a paper a year in advance. Not even huge nerds.

So, what? Are we just stuck waiting around for any meaningful action on debt and deficit reduction until after November 2012? It appears so. And why? Because, for all that the 2010 midterm elections seemed to be a mandate to curb spending, that mandate wasn’t quite loud enough. The Super Committee failure is yet one more predicted political reality that makes clear just how vital the 2012 Congressional elections will be.


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More big government??

abobo on November 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Failure of leadership on both sides. We’ll sit around and fiddle until January 2013 while racking up another few trillion $ in debt. Then Congress will sit and do nothing again because they’ll have already started positioning for the 2014 elections.

AngusMc on November 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Gut the waste. Defense has plenty of it.

mythicknight on November 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

So they want to cut things…except stuff they like.

Pablo Honey on November 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

We need a $600b defense cut over 10 years? All we have to do is end the war in Afghanistan. That will save more then that amount. Or was the savings already used to pay for something else? I cant remember. It doesn’t matter if we count those saving twice. That is the way these budget games work anyway, right?

Resolute on November 21, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Gut the waste. Defense has plenty of it.

mythicknight on November 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Every govt program has waste and if it was that easy to eliminate they would cut it before they took hits on value items. Of course what is one persons waste is jobs for another Congressman’s district.

katiejane on November 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM

I’m a Republican and I’m tired of defense being treated as a sacred cow. Everything the government touches becomes a bloated bureaucracy, there is no reason to think defense would be any different.

haner on November 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Gut the waste. Defense has plenty of it.

mythicknight on November 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Yeah. I think it would be much easier to get rid of a few departments like education and energy, and that would more than what is needed for defense

ConservativePartyNow on November 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

I WISH EVERYONE WOULD STOP SAYING CUTS! The only thing on the table, now or ever, is ‘how much to control GROWTH’! Every time someone says CUTS, your just aiding the MSM and perpetuating the LIE.

Pole-Cat on November 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

I can think of two specific cuts:

1) Years ago, the Navy wanted to close a base somewhere in the northeast. The Dem Congressman in whose district it sat made them keep it open. Start there.

2) Close all our bases in Japan, South Korea, and Europe. Open a bunch in the middle east.

Kafir on November 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM

It appears so. And why? Because, for all that the 2010 midterm elections seemed to be a mandate to curb spending, that mandate wasn’t quite loud enough.

63 new House members does not a mandate make. Why you ask? It is not Rocket Science as 372 house members were returned to their positions. That turns out to be 6 returnees for every Newbie. The mandate was for staying the course. And staying the course is what we got.

chemman on November 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Kafir on November 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Even better would be to require those countries that are desirous of having our military based in their country to pay for it. We pick up the personnel costs of the actual military they pay for everything else.

chemman on November 21, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Republicans already planning to prevent defense cuts

Already planning????? Why planning, are they the only ones who didn’t have a CLUE this was the gameplan???????? Pfffffftttttt. yeah, riiiiiiiiiigggggghhhhhhhtttttttt.

sicoit on November 21, 2011 at 6:52 PM

If they can’t agree on anything, we need to do across the board spending. Not a decrease in the rate of budget increases, a real cut.

And if Congress has become incapable of legislating (where is that delinquent Senate budget), maybe we need a Constitutional Convention to put through term limits and a part-time Congress. (Yes, I dream…)

obladioblada on November 21, 2011 at 6:55 PM

The only thing on the table, now or ever, is ‘how much to control GROWTH’!
Pole-Cat on November 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

So True.. do you want a 10% increase or 9.99% increase which is draconian cut or something.

tjexcite on November 21, 2011 at 7:05 PM

The liberal idea of the perfect compromise: completely eliminate defense spending, and keep doubling welfare spending every five years until the economy implodes.

logis on November 21, 2011 at 7:06 PM

GET OUT THE VOTE folks…

this is the big time

cmsinaz on November 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM

I WISH EVERYONE WOULD STOP SAYING CUTS! The only thing on the table, now or ever, is ‘how much to control GROWTH’! Every time someone says CUTS, your just aiding the MSM and perpetuating the LIE.
Pole-Cat on November 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Not every time. When it comes to defense spending, when they say “cuts,” they mean they’re cutting it an ADDITIONAL amount, over and above the cuts that were already scheduled.

logis on November 21, 2011 at 7:09 PM

GET OUT THE VOTE folks…

this is the big time

cmsinaz on November 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Amen cmsinaz….I continually pray that there WILL be a vote come 2012…… :( Yeah, I know, call me debbie downer….

sicoit on November 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Blah Blah Blah, what defense, we have 20 million illegals that invaded this country. I think our defense sucks, they just seemed to have walked over the border.

As for all those other countries we actually do defend, I say it’s time they paid there fair share. Better yet, they should pay for all of it. Why are we defending them anyway, the Soviets are done and only want to roll around in their money.

Europe has let the enemy immigrate to their countries and set up shop.

This whole gimmick is a joke, there are no cuts, never were and never will be. We will have to fall over the cliff and before we hit the ground the establishment types will say it’s the Tea Party’s fault! That’s right all 63 of em!

Africanus on November 21, 2011 at 7:14 PM

@AllenWest Allen West
Campaigner-in-Chief stated he’ll veto any plan that stops sequestration cuts to Defense. A clear indicator of who he is.
13 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Retweeted by Palin_Posse and 51 others

I lubs me some Allen West! WOOOOT WOOOOT!

sicoit on November 21, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Republicans, FAIL! Yes, the House leadership pushed for the super committee as a compromise, and this is what happened. Congress has become irrelevant because they should have done this job, not another useless committee.

madmonkphotog on November 21, 2011 at 7:52 PM

y cant we cut defense spending again???

Aquateen Hungerforce on November 21, 2011 at 8:09 PM

half of which would come from the Pentagon and the rest from domestic cuts

Given how small a fraction of the budget military spending is, that is absolutely ridiculous.

Count to 10 on November 21, 2011 at 9:29 PM

y cant we cut defense spending again???

Aquateen Hungerforce on November 21, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Well, we could, but the economic losses we would incur from the resulting collapse of trade would wipe out any “savings” we might get out of it.

Count to 10 on November 21, 2011 at 9:31 PM

There . . . are . . . no . . . cuts!

There is only a reduction of the rate of growth.

MassVictim on November 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM