National Security

McKeon: Reid Using Sequestration as ‘Cynical Tool’

House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R., Calif.) slammed President Barack Obama and Democratic Senate leaders for failing to take on the defense sequestration that will strip $500 billion from national defense. The Hill reports:

"The president’s vision of an ‘American Century’ is hollow, dangerous, and takes for granted the military strength and power required to protect the homeland, assure our allies, and keep our enemies at bay," McKeon said, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Hill.

But the Armed Services chairman saved his harshest attack for Reid, who earlier this month opposed a House GOP effort to replace sequestration and said defense will have to "bear their share of the burden."

"We all know what Senator Reid won’t admit—that he is using cuts to our military as a cynical tool to force his domestic agenda in the Senate," McKeon said.

Reid told Politico in May that he would do nothing to stop sequestration unless Republicans agreed to raise taxes.

"I am not going to back off the sequestration," Reid said in the interview. "That’s the law we passed. We did it because it wouldn’t make things easy for us. It made it so we would have to do something. And if we didn’t, these cuts would kick in."

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic cuts, which are scheduled to go through in 2013, will "hollow out the force and inflict severe damage to our national defense."