Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott issued the following statement following Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's press conference previewing the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget:
"I was pleased to hear that the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget will maintain the Navy's current aircraft carrier fleet at 11 ships and enhance the Virginia-class submarine program. However, I am concerned with the Secretary's announcement that the President will request a Base Realignment and Closure process so that the Defense Department can meet the spending caps enacted in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Unfortunately, these cuts are a predictable consequence of passing and extending unaffordable tax cuts. Budgeting is about making difficult choices. If we want to continue to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, we will have to pay for them with cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and other vital functions of government, including defense. If we choose to end these tax cuts, it is unlikely that a new round of base closings or any of these other cuts would be necessary."