Today, former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine called on George Allen to join him and the nation's defense industry leaders in urging Congress to put aside the partisan games and take a balanced approach to avoiding looming sequestration cuts.
"I oppose sequestration because they are the wrong cuts for our national security priorities and for Virginia's economy," said Kaine. "That's why I have laid out a path to avoid these cuts and the detrimental impact they will have on Virginia's economy. Today, I call on George Allen to join me and leaders of our nation's defense industry in strongly urging Congress to avert sequestration through a balanced approach of revenues and targeted cuts. The free-spending by Congressional Republicans like George Allen added $3 trillion to our national debt, helping to create this mess in the first place. It is time for George Allen to set aside his pledge to D.C. lobbyist Grover Norquist and work with the defense industry and others to find a responsible path forward. "
As TPM reported yesterday, "A House Armed Services Committee hearing two weeks ago first exposed the rift. Under questioning from Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), two major defense contractors acknowledged that the GOP's refusal to consider higher revenues was not conducive to solving the looming budget crisis." During the testimony, David Hess, president of Pratt and Whitney said that Congress should be willing to consider a compromise of spending cuts and new revenues to break the impasse, noting "everything's gotta be on the table at this point." Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens recommended Congress do what his business does and "put into the recipe every possible ingredient that might lend itself to the formation, not just of a solution, but in a perfect world a flexible array of solutions -- comprehensive, integrated, thorough -- that allows us the flexibility to run the business."
In last month's Virginia Bar Association debate, George Allen held firm to his all-cuts approach, rejecting a deal that would make $10 in spending cuts for every dollar in new revenue. The approach Allen advocates is so extreme that it's out of step with even some leaders in his own party. If re-elected and allowed to level the spending cuts he has called for, Allen's approach would lead to harmful cuts to defense, education, infrastructure and other priorities. For these reasons, Governor Kaine has urged him to join the defense industry in calling for a balanced approach.