The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said “shame” on any Republicans who follow the Obama administration down a path of steep defense cuts.
Senior Defense officials will unveil the budget at the Pentagon at 1:30 p.m., followed by comments from the service branches.
Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said he knows what’s coming through meetings with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey as well as multiple budget briefings.
“I share the broad dismay about the shrinking might of the military reflected in this budget. The proposal being delivered today is the result of a hard fought bipartisan compromise. It averted another year of arbitrary gutting of the armed forces. But we must recognize that it was only a two-year deal and it still represents another $45 billion cut to the military for 2015,” McKeon said in a statement.
“If we don’t like the tough choices on the table, then shame on us as Republicans for following the president down this path,” he continued. “In an effort to control debt, the only spending the President has truly agreed to cut has been those funds dedicated to national security: $1.2 trillion in defense cuts during his time in office. While we cut nearly one fifth of our defense resources, Russia and China are arming at an alarming rate–Russia’s military spending is up roughly 30 percent and China’s has more than doubled in recent years.”
McKeon issued a warning about the consequences of withdrawal from the world as “instability is spreading, our adversaries are growing bolder, and our security is threatened.”
“If we want to reverse this trend, then we must build upon the Ryan-Murray compromise and further mitigate the permanent damage the current trajectory will do,” he said. “Otherwise, in two years, funding for our troops will be cut to immoral levels.”
“We must resist the president’s compulsion to continually trade national security for financial responsibility, while getting neither. Peace through strength is more than a slogan. It is a foundation for securing our own freedom and prosperity.”