March 1 will bring $1 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts, half from defense. These cuts would devastate our national security. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) has joined with her House colleagues in calling on the White House to embrace a common sense cost-cutting proposal known as "The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act of 2013.' This "Down Payment' would avert devastating defense cuts by reducing the federal workforce over the next decade, with cuts coming from attrition. Under this legislation, no federal employee would be put out of a job.
"At a recent Armed Services Committee hearing, we were warned of the dire impact these automatic cuts would have to defense," said Hartzler. "These cuts would halt vital military training, hinder our ability to conduct operations, and put Americans out of their jobs. For example, our pilots will not be able to train effectively prior to deployment due to a lack of fuel, equipment, and spare parts. Putting American lives at risk due to these cuts is unacceptable."
"The "Down Payment' plan is another way the House is addressing America's spending problem," added Hartzler. "It will allow our military to continue its vital mission of protecting America, and resolve the issue of blind across-the-board cuts. We must continue to address the debt, and have a frank discussion about the real drivers of our debt. America's men and women in uniform must not be put at risk through further cuts."
The automatic budget cuts are the result of the 2011 Super committee's failure to reach an agreement on debt-cutting measures. Congresswoman Hartzler voted against the Budget Control Act, which established the Super committee. In addition to automatic defense cuts, reductions would impact domestic programs, including education and health programs.
Congresswoman Hartzler, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, represents Missouri's Fourth Congressional District -- home to Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood.