Congressman predicts defense cuts will come to halt


Second-in-command House Armed Services Committee member, U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry, has stated that he expects planned defense cuts to be altered or come to a halt by the end of next year. The Texas Republican said the sequestration is part of a $1 trillion reduction in costs that was set to make considerable cuts in military spending.

The Virginia-Pilot reported that Thornberry predicted that the automatic defense cuts would be stopped due to the rising global threats. In light of all the developing and ongoing crises, he feels Americans will support a stronger military.

“I can’t give you the road map on exactly how that will be changed but I do know that as I travel around the country people realize it’s a dangerous world,” said Thornberry, who toured Newport News Shipbuilding with other local congressmen. “You just have to summarize the headlines any particular day to know that it is foolhardy to continue to cut defense. I think everybody understands that better now.”

Several members of Congress, including Thornberry, will travel to Washington next week in an effort to pass a short-term spending bill that will keep the government open when the new fiscal year starts on October 1. By passing the continuing resolution, defense-related programs will continue to operate without disruption. The annual budget will not be reviewed until congressional elections conclude in early November.

According The Virginia-Pilot, Thornberry, who is a forerunner to become committee chairman, and other government officials would not comment on whether or not they felt the U.S. should employ ground troops to deal with the threat of Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria. They did agree that a larger U.S. military presence can discourage rising threats.

“There may be differences of opinion about the use of military power to deal with any one of those threats,” Thornberry said. “But there should be no difference of opinion about having the military power available to deal with this broad array of threats.”

A critic of Congress’s decision to renew “Bush tax cuts”, U.S. Representative Bobby Scott repeated his argument that building a stronger and larger military requires new revenue.

“You can’t get this kind of (military) presence free,” said the Virginia Democrat. “You need to put this money in the budget. When you spend all your money cutting taxes, you don’t have any money left for defense. We need to figure out a way to get some more revenue on the table.”

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