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McKeon Responds To White House Fact Sheet On Sequester


Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following comments on the newly released White House fact sheet on sequester.

"Today the White House finally broke their silence on the consequences President Obama's sequester would have on domestic spending. I wouldn't downplay those important impacts, but I was stunned at the President's silence on national security risks and I am frustrated that he continues to look to our men and women in uniform to pay the cost of America's debt crisis. After all, it is their lives that are at greater risks today, because of the cuts already imposed.

"Here is what is being cut right now:

The USS Abraham Lincoln is not being refueled, making it unavailable in a crisis and costing thousands of jobs
The USS Harry Truman will not be able to be deployed to the Persian Gulf where it is needed to deter Iran
Mission critical training for our military is being suspended
Maintenance on important military equipment is being put off
Tens of thousands of employees who support our war fighters are being laid off
Marines are not being deployed to strategic regions in the Pacific where they would be available to quickly respond in an emergency
"There was not one mention of the military, which is half of sequester's cuts, in the White House's fact sheet. I don't know which is worse, the deafening silence from the White House or the tone-deafness about sequester's impact on national security.

"Military leaders have testified that the nearly half-trillion in cuts to the military are taking our armed forces right to the razor's edge. This week, we learned the Navy can't afford to deploy a vital aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. Shipyard workers are being laid off as maintenance for the Navy is canceled. Aircraft are being pushed past their limits and our Soldiers are being tested, not by an external threat, but by the President's repeated insistence that defense cuts are the key to resolving this financial crisis.

"This week, President Obama unveiled his idea for a 'balanced' resolution of the sequestration crisis. It involved as much as $21 billion in additional defense cuts over the next seven months. I don't doubt that important domestic programs will be in jeopardy if sequester falls in March, but our military is in jeopardy today. To consider deeper cuts to the military now as a way to solve a financial crisis driven by entitlement programs, is both irresponsible and unacceptable."

Follow this link to see what the President's plan really means for defense:

What our leaders have told us about more defense cuts:
"And that if we have to absorb more cuts, we have got to go back to the drawing board and adjust our strategy. What I'm saying to you today is that the strategy that we would have to adjust to would in my view not meet the needs of the Nation in 2020 because the world is not getting any more stable. It is getting increasingly unstable," - General Dempsey

"So, once you get beyond $465 billion, we have taken all of the efficiencies we can take. We have taken out structure. We have reduced modernization, in my mind, in some cases lower than we really needed to reduce modernization, already. If we go beyond that, we now--it becomes critical, and it becomes a fact that we will no longer modernize. We will no longer be able to respond to a variety of threats. We will have to get to a size that is small enough where I believe, as I said earlier, we might lose our credibility in terms of our ability to deter. And that is the difference. So it is not ""okay'' at $465 billion. It is something we have been able to work ourselves through, with risk. But anything beyond that becomes even higher risk." -- Gen. Odierno

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