Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Panetta: Obama's defense-cutting-trigger "Devastating" to US Defense Dept.!

It should be noted - as Sen. Jon Kyl noted on the Senate floor several months ago - it was the White House [President Obama] that proposed this "devastating" trigger. See the video below.

From the AP:
The number of U.S. ground forces would drop to levels not seen since 1940, the Navy would drop to the smallest number of ships since 1915 and the Air Force would be the smallest ever, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in warning Congress of the dire implications of deeper defense cuts.

The Pentagon chief on Monday offered a litany of drastic steps triggered by the automatic, across-the-board cuts if Congress' supercommittee fails to come up with a $1.2 trillion deficit-cutting plan by Nov. 23. If the panel stumbles, the Pentagon faces some $500 billion in reductions in projected spending over 10 years — on top of the $450 billion already under way.

"Devastating for the department," Panetta wrote in a letter to Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Senate Armed Services Committee's top Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a panel member. The two lawmakers had written the Pentagon chief earlier this month seeking specifics...

Panetta's comments add pressure to the supercommittee a little more than a week before its deadline, as panel Republicans and Democrats struggle to fulfill their mandate. The Pentagon letter also stirs the recent talk in Congress about trying to nullify the automatic cuts, a step McCain and Graham have discussed. Obama said last week that he wouldn't accept any legislation that tries to undo the automatic cuts.

In a statement, McCain and Graham said the automatic cuts "would set off a swift decline of the United States as the world's leading military power. ... This is not an outcome that we can live with, and it is certainly not one that we should impose on ourselves. The sequester is a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and it should not be allowed to occur."
Read the full article

Related Video - August 2, 2011 - Kyl slams Obama over defense cutting trigger in debt ceiling bill:



Related post - August 3, 2011: Panetta: 'Trigger' Cuts "would do real damage to our security"

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