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April 24, 2013

Inhofe: Reid sequestration plan "an irresponsible budget gimmick"

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, doesn't like the idea of cutting overseas contingency operations funding to help restore automatic spending cuts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, is pushing the plan, but no resolution is expected this week.

Inhofe was not pleased with Reid's idea.

"Sen. Reid’s amendment to cut future Overseas Contingency Operation funding in order to offset current sequestration cuts is an irresponsible budget gimmick that undermines our national security and sends a terrible message to allies and adversaries alike at a time when we face the greatest array of threats in generations,” Inhofe said.

Here's the rest of his statement:

“What he is proposing is not about saving money from the troop drawdown in Afghanistan; it’s about further hollowing out our military. This emergency account being targeted directly supports our forces deployed in combat operations around the world, helping to fund their equipment, readiness, training, and operational needs of our allies directly supporting us. Furthermore, our military relies on these funds to fully restore the readiness of its units and equipment after the cessation of combat operations to ensure they’re capable and prepared for future missions. Given the vital importance of this funding, Congress has never subjected OCO to budget caps or reductions like those proposed by Sen. Reid.

“We do not know for sure where around the world our military will be called upon in the future. Capping future OCO accounts completely abrogates our responsibility to provide for our warfighters. Our military has already paid more than its share under the Obama Administration. Sen. Reid’s amendment dodges the hard decisions necessary to restore fiscal responsibility and instead takes from those who are willing to sacrifice it all on our nation’s behalf. It’s budget cowardice on the backs of our warfighters.”



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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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