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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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