McKeon Moves Against Defense Sequestration

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House Armed Services Committee chairman, said Monday he intends to introduce legislation this week to stave off “catastrophic” cuts to the Pentagon’s budget. He announced this after the congressional supercommittee failed to reach an agreement on where to cut the federal deficit over the next 10 years (see below). Lack of an agreement triggers the Budget Control Act’s sequester clause, leading to $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts from Fiscal 2013 to Fiscal 2021, divided equally between defense and domestic spending accounts. That’s on top of the $450 billion in reductions already programmed for the Pentagon’s budget over that span. “Unfortunately, America’s military is facing cuts that will devastate the armed forces and force us to break faith with service members. I do not accept that outcome,” stated McKeon. “I will not let these sequestration cuts stand,” he added. Meanwhile, President Obama warned Monday that he would “veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.” Obama said: “There will be no easy off ramps on this one.” (Obama statement)