By Charles Dean
Congresswoman Martha Roby is taking her turn today carrying the Republican Party's message-of-the-week, namely that the looming sequester was President Barack Obama's idea and it's a bad idea and Republicans have a better idea.
Roby is the voice of that message via the GOP's weekly radio address.
In the three-minute-plus address Roby calls on the president to join House Republicans in their efforts to make targeted cuts based on priorities instead of the across-the-board cuts to military spending that the sequester would mandate beginning on March 1.
Roby said the looming cuts will hurt the military and military families. She said at Fort Rucker in Ozark that the sequester would cause the lost of 500 students training to be Army combat aviators and about 37,000 hours of flight training.
Fort Rucker is home to the Army's primary flight training base for Army aviation, primarily helicopters.
In his State of the Union speech Tuesday Obama called the sequester a bad idea and called on Republicans to join him in reaching an agreement to make needed budget cuts in a smarter way.
The inability of Democrats and Republicans to agree in 2011 to what those cuts should be is what led to the automatic-across-the-board cuts in the first place. The sequester was seen as a sort of gun the two parties put to their heads to force them to reach a compromise.
In all, the budget cuts would amount to $1.2 trillion by 2021. About half the cuts, or $55 billion a year, would apply to the military budget.