Lawmakers in Washington have six months to figure out a way to avoid the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts agreed to in last year’s debt-limit deal. Those cuts disproportionately target defense, prompting concerns from across the political spectrum.
Leading the charge in Congress is Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the Armed Services Committee. He’s shining the spotlight on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to put a plan on the table or make way for one of the Republican proposals. Otherwise, McKeon warns of significant job losses and compromised national security.
McKeon, along with author Edward Conard, will speak at The Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday at noon ET. Watch it live on The Foundry.
Unless Congress acts, the U.S. military is facing $492 billion of mandatory defense cuts from sequestration agreed to in the Budget Control Act. An analysis of sequestration reveals that defense spending makes up nearly 43 percent of the cuts, a larger share than either entitlements or discretionary spending.
These cuts have real-life consequences. The Heritage Foundation recently in a three-part video series highlighted how previous military drawdowns impacted readiness and put American lives at risk.
McKeon also believes the automatic cuts would jeopardize America’s economic recovery. Top defense contractor Lockheed Martin “is likely to notify the ‘vast majority’ of its 123,000 workers that they’re at risk of being laid off,” Greg Walters, the company’s vice president of legislative affairs, told Politico. The newspaper reported Lockheed Martin won’t be alone, revealing a potential campaign nightmare for President Obama.
Following McKeon’s presentation, Conard will share his controversial outlook on America’s economy. The former managing director of Bain Capital is the author of “Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong.”
Critics have assailed him defending the so-called 1 percent and promoting inequality. A review in BusinessWeek declared, “As far off the rails as Obama can be in attacking Bain for chasing profits—which is merely capitalism at work—Conard goes him one better. You know the Democrats’ caricature of Republicans who only care about rich people? Well, meet Ed Conard.”