Senator John McCain is engaging in a little bit of political grandstanding and posturing today by adding an amendment to the farm bill demanding a report from Leon Panetta on the potential harms that await the Pentagon should congress fail to avert the impending automatic cuts agreed to under the Budget Control Act (the debt ceiling deal).
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today filed an amendment on the looming across-the-board defense cuts on behalf of Armed Services Committee Republicans, and the proposal could prove to be the first test on a sweeping farm bill scheduled to hit the floor this week.
The McCain amendment, which would require Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to file a detailed report by Aug. 15 on the security effects of the nearly $500 billion defense sequester, was discussed at length by the entire Senate GOP Conference at a weekly steering committee lunch this afternoon.
“Congress needs an official, detailed assessment from the Department on the serious damage to military readiness and the increased risk to our military operations in Afghanistan which would result if sequestration is allowed to occur due to the inability of the Administration and Congress to enact an alternative deficit reduction plan,” McCain said in a statement.
I encourage congress to pass this amendment. Why? Because It will not serve the GOP’s interest. In fact, it may shut them up.
The sequester, or “automatic-trigger,” is not going to harm military readiness or increase the risk of those serving in Afghanistan.
The $500 billion sequester will be drawn out over a period of 10 years. It’s not going to come all at once. Military spending is still going to increase over the next 10 years, but it will increase by $500 billion less than it otherwise would have over that time period. Furthermore, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have already expressed confidence in their budget which accounts for the sequester. The same budget Paul Ryan accused them of lying about when they expressed their satisfaction.
This is a Nothingburger and I encourage the GOP to take a big bite.