GOP seeking alternatives to military cuts
February 2nd, 2012
10:09 AM ET

GOP seeking alternatives to military cuts

By Kate Bolduan

Top Senate Republicans are proposing eliminating part of the across-the-board and painful budget cuts required after the so-called super committee failed in November, according to two Senate Republican aides.

The Republicans instead want to achieve the required savings through extending a freeze on federal worker pay and cutting back the federal workforce through attrition, the aides said. Federal agencies would only be allowed to hire two people for every three retiring or leaving government employment.

The plan is backed by GOP Senators John McCain, Jon Kyl, Lindsay Graham and Kelly Ayotte.

The measures would cut $127 billion from the federal budget, effectively replacing the first year of savings that are scheduled to begin in 2013 and would hit most elements of the federal budget, including deep cuts to defense.

The senators have long been vocal opponents of the process, formally known as sequestration, and have vowed to find alternatives that would protect the Department of Defense from further cuts than it is already facing.

The bill, called "Down Payment to Protect National Security Act of 2012," is scheduled to be unveiled at a news conference Thursday morning.

The process was set in motion by the deal to raise the federal debt ceiling in August.

According to that agreement, the across-the-board cuts would be imposed if the so-called super committee failed to find an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit savings. The committee announced it could not reach agreement in late November.

Filed under: Congress • Military
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Why don't we just do both ? Let's cut the utterly outrageous military budget and huge cost of civilian federal government workforce. We cannot sustain such big overhead costs anymore.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  2. severinus

    A deal's a deal Republicans. What happened to keeping your word? Oh wait, your side wanted the U.S. to go back on its word and not pay debts already incurred.

    February 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  3. lex

    Thats good news i believe, the last thing we need is to be caught with our pants down, especially with the constant threats to national security and Iran breathing down our necks.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  4. Armand Winter

    Mitt Romney's 15% tax rate is much more important than defense spending and working people's salaries.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  5. tony

    personally i think this is wrong. When the pay freeze was originally thought up they said it would be over all DOD but ended up just being civilians, tell me how thats right. And to top it off congress got a 12k pay INCREASE this year! so ya im not liking this too much.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  6. mipolitic

    well i am of the mine set that occupations do not work , and the last ten years are a perfect witness to this fact, however i think that threats to national security and usa interest and assest must be the over ruling factor inregards to budget cuts. and it is very clear that this is factor is not observed by the white house and iran is threating the entire mid east region with nukes. taking out small pockets of bad guys is not the backbone required to face down a military such as iran. iraq was a lie but iran is the real deal . i can honestly see splits in the dem ranks over this.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • Sgt. Fury & His Howling Faggots

      To threaten with nukes, you need to have them in the first place. What's it like to live in constant fear?

      February 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  7. josephchrisman

    Whether or not they get the cuts they want may not matter if Obama decides to spend it. To the Obama administration, making cuts frees up money for new spending. Remember the SOTU? $500 billion in new spending because of military cuts. But this type of spending is not new or original to the Obama administration. Most politicians seem to have mindset that cuts mean more spending especially in times of election. Gordon Gray has some nice insight on this dynamic:

    February 2, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  8. michaelfury

    "deep cuts to defense"

    If by "deep cuts" you mean the Pentagon budget continues to expand at a slower rate but remains beyond Bush-era levels.

    February 2, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply

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