Congressman Steve King released the following statement today regarding the House vote on a budget reconciliation package intended to prevent a scheduled 10% across the board cut to Department of Defense programs and an 8% cut to certain domestic programs, such as the National Institutes of Health and education programs. In total, over $1 trillion would be cut from national defense over the next ten years. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has suggested that the looming cuts would "devastate" our national security. The cuts were enacted last year as part of the "debt ceiling deal" that was struck by Congress. Set in motion after the so-called "Super Committee" failed to reach agreement on a package of budget cuts and reforms, the reconciliation package being considered this week will replace the automatic, across the board cuts with targeted reductions in specific areas of the federal budget. The ultimate goal is aimed at weeding out wasteful, fraudulent, inefficient and duplicative spending.
"Today the House voted on reconciliation language that will head off debilitating cuts to our national defense," said King. "The looming cuts would put 200,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in the unemployment line and could eventually lead to the demise of the all volunteer force that's been the hallmark of our armed forces for decades. With only a skeleton force to defend our nation, the effort to do so will likely cost more in both blood and treasure in the long run. Secretary Panetta was right to warn about the devastation these cuts would bring. The House is stepping up to the plate to achieve the needed budget savings responsibly, and I was pleased to support that effort on the floor today."