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ICYMI: The Danger of Obama’s Inaction on Sequestration

- July 31, 2012

Excerpts from the Washington Post

By: U.S. Representative Howard McKeon (CA-25)

July 31, 2012

"Only a handful of legislative days remain to resolve the devastating cuts to our military, known as sequestration, before the campaign trail becomes the sole focus of political activity.

"The false notion persists that the deadline is Jan. 2, when the Office of Management and Budget is charged with making arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to every part of the military...barring any guidance from the White House or the resolution of sequestration, hundreds of thousands of Americans, including those fighting our wars, should find pink slips in their mailboxes only a few weeks before Election Day...

"Even though President Obama signed the Budget Control Act into law and insisted on the sequester so another debt-limit increase didn't materialize before the election, it doesn't appear that he shares the same commitment to resolution...

"He should end the uncertainty, speak truthfully about the consequences and bring Senate Democrats to the table with a solution. Fundamentally, his choice is to treat our troops as heroes or use them as leverage.

"When the president's budget director, Jeffrey Zients, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee, Republicans will continue to press the president to pursue this approach...

"I fear, however, that he will present no new information and will use the hearing to continue the president's brinkmanship approach, insisting on the wholesale adoption of the Obama budget plan and dismissing all other options...

"House Republicans, acting responsibly, have passed a plan that replaces the first year of cuts to military and domestic spending through reforms to entitlement programs. If Democrats still find that unacceptable, I hope they can at least use it as the basis for a compromise...

"The president and Senate Democrats' inaction is doing damage. I fear the assessment one of our senior military leaders expressed privately is spot-on: America's inability to govern ourselves past sequestration plays directly into the hands of those who spread a narrative of American decline and, ultimately, would thrust us into a more dangerous world.

"If the United States faced an external enemy who threatened to do this kind of damage to our national security, the president would have the primary obligation to resolve it. To avert these cuts is to intimidate our enemies, reassure our allies and keep faith with those who have sacrificed so much for so long. The commander in chief must act."

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