Defense cuts test lawmakers’ resolve on deficits
Lawmakers who came to Washington demanding budget cuts face a tough test now that President Barack Obama and military leaders want to shrink the force, shut down bases and cancel weapons to achieve them.
A new national security strategy reflecting an end to decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan offers the opportunity to reduce defense spending and government deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years - but at a cost of thousands of jobs in lawmakers’ states and districts.
Democrats as well as Republicans are resisting, looking to protect home turf from California, where the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft is built, to Wisconsin, home to speedy Littoral combat ships, to military installations all across the country.
“It’s funny that we want to save money everywhere except when it can bother us,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in an interview. Graham is a member of the Armed Services Committee and one of the few lawmakers who favors another round of domestic base closings.