No Compromise in Sight

Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee butted heads on July 18, with each side blaming the other for the looming budget sequestration. “In addition to the issue of jobs, I worry that the cavernous silence from the President will lead many to exit the [defense] industry or to walk away from capital investments that are in the best interests of our troops,” said HASC Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) during the hearing called to discuss sequestration’s effects on the defense industry. Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) countered by saying Congress must first acknowledge that it won’t be solving the federal budget deficit anytime in the near future. And second, everything truly must be on the table to reduce the deficit: In other words, more revenue must augment strategic cuts, he asserted. “We’re going to have structural deficits for awhile,” said Smith. “Our role is to get those deficits under control so that they are manageable. But we can’t hold hostage steps that will do that.”