House majority leader bearish on Defense sequester

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. Steve Helber/AP
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor took a bearish view of the looming defense sequester today, saying America would have to rethink its standing as a global power if the cuts hit.

"What we do know right now is the question before us is this looming sequester. And that has serious implications so far as our ability as Americans to be seeming a global power," Cantor said Friday in a Morning Joe interview.

Cantor's comments come after he said in a recent debate with Democratic challenger Wayne Powell that he did not support the sequester despite voting for the deal that included the triggered cuts. PolitiFact rated Cantor's position on the sequester from the debate a Full Flop.

The Virginia Republican linked the defense sequester to jobs and the economy, but he did not hint at how Congress and the president would undo the cuts that include a $55 billion chunk next year.

President Barack Obama has signaled he is unwilling to roll back the cuts until Congress comes up with a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion or face the automatic reductions. At the same time, the White House moved last month to prevent defense contractors from issuing mass layoff notices as required by law if the sequester were to take effect.

So what's going on here?

One defense analyst, speaking to our National Journal colleagues after the White House issued a report on the sequester last month, suggested the negotiations were like a high-stakes political game.

"It's still sort of playing chicken: Who's going to budge first?" said William Hartung, a defense analyst at the Center for International Policy.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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