Steep military cuts would be irresponsible, lawmaker says

Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., warns big decreases could hurt readiness. Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., warns big decreases could hurt readiness. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon, R-Calif., warned that steep cuts to military funding are ill-advised because of the potential for future conflicts that cannot be foreseen.

"After every war, we've brought down our military so we're not ready for the next time we're attacked,” he said in an interview Thursday that was aired on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers on Sunday. “It's kind of our DNA. I have a real problem with that."

The Defense budget is subjected to large cuts in funding both in Obama's budget and by the automatic cuts, known as the "sequester," that are the result of the super committee's failure to reach an agreement last summer. Those cuts are due to be enacted in 2013, but McKeon said that the problem needs to be solved sooner rather than later.

"I think it is irresponsible to know this is out there, but not pay any attention to it," he said. McKeon touted a bill he introduced in January to pay for the first year of sequestration by reducing the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declined to support the bill outright, in part because it lacks bipartisan support.

Though McKeon admitted Defense spending is fair-game for budget cuts, he said the amount of cutting proposed by Obama's budget and the sequester is too much.

"I understand that defense needs to be on the table, just like everything else. All I'm just saying is, why take 50 percent of the savings out of 20 percent of the budget? You know, we need to get to where the real problem is. The Defense Department is not the problem," he said.

"If we keep drawing down and cutting back our military, we're going to just constantly be asking them to do more with less,” he said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.