When an e-mail surfaced this week that seemed to indicate spending reductions for U.S. agricultural inspections were guided by public relations, Republicans pounced. They said it proved their suspicions that the administration is manipulating cuts for political gain.
He’s an anti-tax Republican representative from Ohio. She’s an anti-war Democratic senator from Washington state. Jim Jordan and Patty Murray have little in common, save this: Protecting multibillion-dollar defense projects in their states from budget cuts.
The House last week more than tripled funding for an updated version of a Cold War-era tank the U.S. Army says it doesn’t need. If the vote made questionable sense to some watchdogs in an era of tightening military spending, it made a lot of political sense to lawmakers seeking to preserve jobs in their districts.
The supercommittee’s failure to reach a deficit-reduction agreement puts into motion $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years targeting defense and domestic agency budgets while sparing entitlement programs such as Medicaid.
The threat of $500 billion in future defense cuts codified in the new deficit-reduction law could sharpen a dispute between Republicans and Democrats over national security as the 2012 campaign intensifies.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is telling Congress that the debt-reduction agreement President Barack Obama signed into law this week includes a “doomsday mechanism” that could lead to dangerous cuts in military spending.