Members of Congress criticize looming military cuts

Lawmakers warn of 'huge impact'

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U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss speaks about looming Department of Defense cuts and their impact on Georgia's military installations, including Fort Gordon, at the Augusta Museum of History.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss speaks about looming Department of Defense cuts and their impact on Georgia's military installations, including Fort Gordon, at the Augusta Museum of History.

Georgia’s two U.S. senators and U.S. Rep. John Barrow warned Monday that pending budget cuts at the Pentagon will create a “dire scenario” for the military and have a “huge impact” on the Augusta community.

The remarks were made to a small gathering of business and community leaders anxious for news on how the cuts would affect Fort Gordon and its massive economic footprint on Augusta.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Repub­lican and member of the Senate’s Armed Forces Committee, gave several instances of how cuts in weapons development and purchasing could affect national security, but he said specifics of how each military community will be affected is “very difficult to tell.”

Instead, Chambliss, Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson and Barrow, a Democrat, provided an update on their efforts to fight cuts to military spending. All of them said spending cuts are necessary to reduce the deficit, but Isakson said it should be done on a “common sense” basis.

“You decide what you can and can’t let go of,” Isakson said. One thing that must stay is the “ability to defend ourselves against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

The automatic cuts, known as sequestration, are the result of last year’s efforts by a “supercommittee” to find ways to cut a growing U.S. debt. Under the Budg­et Control Act, passed as a compromise, $1.2 trillion will be automatically cut from discretionary budget spending over the next 10 years, beginning Jan. 2, barring intervention from Congress to reduce the deficit.

Of that, $492 billion will come from the Pentagon, starting in 2013 with a $56.7 billion cut from the Department of Defense budget.

All of the service branches are either shrinking or maintaining current numbers with the end of the war in Iraq and the coming withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Georgia legislators applauded the cost savings realized through this approach but said sequestration will hasten a gradual process.

“We will hollow out our military like we haven’t seen before,” Chambliss said.

He outlined what he said were three unacceptable options: allow sequestration to go forward; produce a short-term fix; or forget about making any cuts.

“We have to get our financial house in order,” said Chamb­liss, who suggested addressing larger issues such as the tax code and entitlement programs such as Medicaid.

Isakson echoed that opinion: “This is not about not wanting to cut $1.2 trillion; it’s about how you do it.”

Barrow emphasized the importance of Fort Gordon and its communications missions to national defense, along with the presence of Na­tional Security Agency-Georgia on the Army post.

“That’s the brains of our national defense,” he said.

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Doug Duncan
345
Points
Doug Duncan 08/20/12 - 10:52 pm
5
1
Sequestration

What part of "provide for the common defense" does Congress fail to comprehend? On December 3, 1793, during his 5th annual address to Congress, George Washington stated "If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known at all times that we are ready for war". I believe his challenge is still relevant today. The fact we are even having this discussion is incredulous. Kudos to Chambliss and Isakson for spreading the word. Please Sirs, handle this!

dmcadam
6
Points
dmcadam 08/21/12 - 07:30 am
4
2
Hollow out?

“We will hollow out our military like we haven’t seen before,” - Chambliss

He's gotta be kiddin, hollow out? We could cut our military spending in half and we'd still be spending more than twice as much as the next biggest spender (China). Maybe if we wasted a little less money on weapons systems that don't work (F-22), and maybe if we closed a few of these overseas bases (doing so would bring these kids back to the US and to bases here in Georgia, thus boosting our economy).

Of course we need a strong defense, we have it. We have the most impressive military the world has ever known. We also have bought and paid-for politicians who are beholden to weapons contractors, big banks, big pharmaceutical companies, food processors and large campaign donors.

Less money on politicians and more on the VA, I say.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 08/21/12 - 07:59 am
2
5
Gosh, with those kinds of

Gosh, with those kinds of cuts, that means we'll only spend as much on defense as China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates COMBINED! The hypocrisy of the GOP Senators and Congressmen to constantly whine about the deficit and debt (Excuse me, just since Obama was elected. They didn't give a rat's ... under the previous administration. Then they were happy to spend and cut taxes to increase the debt.) and then travel back to their home districts and whine how jobs might be lost if these cuts go into effect is appalling. As to Barrow, he might as well have an (R) behind his name. He fits right in with them.

Riverman1
79038
Points
Riverman1 08/21/12 - 09:29 am
2
0
Sequestration Calamity

The way this will come down is everyday needs such as buying food and gas will be stopped. It will be calamity.

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 08/21/12 - 09:32 am
0
1
We should
Unpublished

start by eliminating that piece of crap sitting in the Oval Office with his feet on the desk, that moron mouth of a v.p., criminal attorney general, lying leader of the senate, leftie sec. of homeland security and divest ourselves of their lifetime pensions, security, plane rides, prostitution rings and such. Maybe ship their derrieres to Kenya and let their military defend them.

prov227
2919
Points
prov227 08/21/12 - 09:53 am
0
3
government jobs

The hardest job to shed in an economic downturn is a federal employee. Their roles are necessary to maintain central government. Republicans and conservatives ... let's cut the deficit and debt in this country, er, we didn't mean our sacred cows! Thanks, politicians for doing what you all do so well.

Is a "common defense" argument a pre-emptive strike on Iraq to destroy the weapons of mass destruction? George W. Bush ... "War is good for the economy."

Common sense ... what we all think we believe (or can be made to believe).

resident
470
Points
resident 08/21/12 - 12:10 pm
2
0
Negative comments

You have your rights and opinions. The one thing you fail to see is the fact that helping other nations is not as bad as it is made out to be. I have seen what these people live throught. I do not agree with waste of money which I totally agree is happening. I see it every day as a person working in the defense role. There is so much room for improvement but the cronies will not allow this to happen because too many Generals and Cols retire and become contractors or even worse yet draw disability even though they are not really just some doctor helped them seem this way, I have witnessed this personally and they brag and share this information so they can all get thir VA free money, Thenthey can work as a gov employee draw that check plus military pension, plus VA tax free money. Tripple threat. Theses guys make the post office calmity look like pennies. We need to stop this immediately. This will save I bet BILLIONS of wasted money making people very rich. They should also say they are not allowed to server as amil contractor in any filed they served in to remove the cronism from the formula as well. I have witnessed contracts being extended or awarded because of some col or Gen working for the company not because of value or ability. There are many companies that need to be forced to remove these people and save yet BILLIONS more in tax money. Cutting bodies well maybe cutting aircraft weel maybe not just hold them accountable to cut costs as I am sure is written into their contract just never enforced. Make the companies foot the bill for research so they have a stake in the cost instead of taxpayers.....Savings on energy are easy to achieve but Ft Gordon has yet to even try. Look at lights on all day at ballfields, watering during drought..wasted money replacing signs just because somebody wanted to say they did that, Light poles were perfectly function but we just replaced them..

justus4
99
Points
justus4 08/21/12 - 01:39 pm
0
0
Who cares? Let the "off the
Unpublished

Who cares? Let the "off the cliff" cuts take place because BOTH parties voted for sequestration. Dooms day predictions are overrated as voiced in the article AND it's not true. How ill-informed do this bunch think Americans are? Chickens coming home to roost comes to mind.

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/21/12 - 02:45 pm
2
0
I Support The Military

And I am grateful to all of those who work to keep America free.

But that doesn't mean I support runaway spending. Let's trim the fat, while focusing on the needs of our veterans.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/21/12 - 03:06 pm
3
0
Who said the F-22 doesn't

Who said the F-22 doesn't work?

Ya know....providing defense is actually in the constitution......providing healthcare, food stamps, free cell phones, the endowment for the arts, subsidising green energy, etc is NOT.

justthefacts
20233
Points
justthefacts 08/21/12 - 04:09 pm
3
0
Dubius Quote

George W. Bush ... "War is good for the economy." Libs will believe anything. I guess.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/22/12 - 07:17 am
0
0
jtf.... the liberal strategy

jtf.... the liberal strategy seems to be "if at first you dont' succeed, lie, lie again."

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/22/12 - 07:17 am
1
0
"The problem with internet

"The problem with internet quotes is that you can't verify their accuracy"

--Abraham Lincoln

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