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Obama's Mixed Signals on Sequestration Harm Efforts to Avoid Defense Cuts

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President Barack Obama dodging responsibility and sending mixed signals about looming defense budget cuts known as sequestration will only setback efforts to avoid drastic cuts that will harm our military, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) said today.

While answering a question during last night's presidential debate about the across-the-board slashing of military spending, President Obama at first seemed to defend cuts to Navy shipbuilding saying, "we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed." Soon after, however, the President backtracked and said, "the sequester is not something I proposed. It is something Congress proposed. It will not happen."

Rep. Roby, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee and who voted against the Budget Control Act that included sequester cuts, said the American people and our warfighters deserve better than election year blame games and doubletalk from the Commander-in-Chief.

"Our military is on the brink of receiving some of the most devastating cuts imaginable, and the President of the United States can't get his story straight on why it's happening or how to stop it," Rep. Roby said. "Despite the President's maneuvering rhetoric, the sequester cuts did originate in the White House. Just ask Bob Woodward, who reported that fact in detail in his recent book. That the President would try to deny it now is certainly not very presidential.

"But worse than passing the buck on his administration's actions is their utter lack of leadership to help us avoid these cuts. Congress has put forth a reasonable plan to replace the arbitrary sequester cuts with targeted reductions that align with the nation's priorities, yet the White House has been absent from any talks that would lead to a solution. Simply saying "it won't happen' doesn't make it so. We need leadership and cooperation from the President to help us avoid devastating military cuts and, unfortunately, we're getting neither."

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