Cotton: Let's 'Take Our Responsibilities Seriously' for Budgeting Cycle

June 13, 2017

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) gave pointed remarks Tuesday during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the 2018 budget about his desire to repeal the Budget Control Act of 2011.

"The Budget Control Act is not the Constitution and the 112th Congress was not the constitutional convention," Cotton said at the hearing.

Cotton questioned whether sequestration required by the Budget Control Act would happen.

"We know exactly what will happen. We will have a continuing resolution September, we will have some kind of two-year budget in October-November, we will have an omnibus in the December of 2017 and an omnibus in December of 2018, then we'll do it all again in 2019," Cotton said.

"Let's simply repeal the Budget Control Act and take our responsibilities seriously and own up for our annual budgeting cycle," Cotton continued, before urging all Democrats and Republicans on the committee to work toward repeal.

The Budget Control Act was a major deficit-reduction deal that came to being during the 2011 debt ceiling standoff. It would require across-the-board cuts if the budget passes the budget cap.

Cotton has criticized the deal for ignoring entitlement programs and instead focusing on discretionary spending such as the defense budget.

Cotton and other Senate Republicans have described the president's defense budget as inadequate, although it exceeds the spending ceiling set by the Budget Control Act.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee on Monday that the sequester was causing the greatest problems for the military, leading to "severe" damage. Mattis said he was "shocked" at the poor state of the military's readiness, and scolded Congress for not passing a full budget for the Department of Defense.