Last year Republicans and Democrats agreed to increase the debt ceiling and part of the deal was across the board spending cuts, including $500 billion in cuts to the Defense Department, in the event Congress fails to act by January 1, 2013. It doesn’t appear that Democrats care to do anything about this, seeing that Harry Reid recently said the Senate will not put forth a budget because the debt ceiling deal counts as having already passed a budget.
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) told the Heritage Foundation that the impending defense cuts are in addition to nearly $500 billion in cuts already slated, and that these cuts will have dire consequences when it comes to national defense.
Asked in our exclusive interview what might happen if the impending automatic sequestration cuts slash $500 billion from the defense budget – in addition to the $487 billion dollars already slated to be cut over the next ten years – Kyl said it would amount to “shooting ourselves in the head,” a reference to a metaphor first offered by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“You can save the money in other ways,” Kyl explained. “We’re not talking about not saving the money. Were talking about doing it in an intelligent way, by setting priorities, reducing spending elsewhere so that you don’t have to have the across the board cuts.”
He also expressed concern about a rising tide of isolationism in the United States, even among conservatives. Kyl insisted that America “cannot just retreat behind fortress America.”
Defense is the only spending Democrats don’t like.
H/T The Other McCain
Update: No wonder Americans can’t stand Harry Reid. The only person more unpopular than the Senate leader is Nancy Pelosi.