U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today released the following joint statement on today's announcement by the Office of Management and Budget that military personnel accounts will be exempt from sequestration under the Budget Control Act:
"Rather than coming to the table with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to finally address the issue of budget sequestration, the Obama Administration is flailing around attempting to make sequester look less devastating than it actually is. Today's announcement increases the impact of these arbitrary cuts on the readiness of our armed forces.
"As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, stated in a hearing before Congress in June, "[E]xempting manpower means that a service chief can only go back to find this money in about three places: training, maintenance and modernization. That's it. There's no magic in the budget at that point. And those three accounts will be subjected to all of the cuts mandated by sequestration.'
"We believe the effect of such cuts will be a "hollow force' as occurred after the Vietnam War. Today's announcement by the President abrogates difficult decision-making in favor of scoring cheap political points, and will further undermine the readiness of our all-volunteer force. We urge President Obama to sit down with members of both parties in Congress and work out a solution to avoid the dangers of sequestration as soon as possible."