Republicans Hate Obama’s Defense Cuts. the Trouble Is, They Voted for Them.
The rest of the story is that after a decade of war when the needs are winding down, it’s time to downsize the military. That’s exactly why those cuts passed in a bipartisan manner: it’s good management and common sense.
In his speech tonight, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) decried Obama for cutting defense, saying, “We can’t afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget — on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making…And yet, the president is playing no leadership role in preventing this crippling blow to our military.”
There’s just one problem: John McCain, and most other Republicans in the House and Senate, voted for the cuts in question.
The Budget Control Act, passed as a condition for Republican support for raising the debt ceiling last summer, contains a 10 percent across-the-board cut in defense spending - the cut that McCain was referencing. It comes out to $30 billion in cuts next year and $510 billion in cuts over the next ten years. The cuts were included in the event that the so-called “SuperCommittee” did not agree on a plan that reduced the deficit by $1.5 trillion. That committee failed, and now the fallback cuts are due to take effect at the end of the year.
Republicans are now trying to reverse those cuts. Paul Ryan has said a Romney-Ryan administration would roll them back, arguing that 44,000 jobs would be lost if they were to take effect. Ryan, however, voted for the cuts as well. So did House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Armed Services Ranking Member Buck McKeon, as well as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and minority whip Jon Kyl. Now all five or those people are calling for the cuts to be reversed.