If You Can’t Solve it Now, Punt

With the Presidential election creeping closer and both sides of the political aisle seemingly at an impasse for how to stave off budget sequestration, lawmakers should pass a continuing resolution and leave a new defense spending bill to the next Congress, said Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House Armed Services Committee chairman, June 21. “My feeling is we’ve put ourselves in a very bad position,” he said during a meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C. Previously, McKeon argued that defense funding should be cut out of any sequestration fix. Now, he said he favors Congress passing a CR if lawmakers can’t be “adult enough” before a lame-duck session to address the sequestration issue. “That’s my impassioned plea,” he said. Why? Because defense companies are already readying layoff slips when they could be hiring, noted McKeon. He said he now regrets his “yes” vote last fall on the Budget Control Act, which included the sequestration clause. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had told HASC members that sequestration was “so bad, it couldn’t possibly happen,” and with that, most committee members on the Republican side voted for the BCA, recounted McKeon.