Sen. Kyl threatens to leave supercommittee over defense cuts
Democrats never met a weapons sysem that they didn't want to get rid of, while the GOP is hamstrung because the kinds of cuts they want won't be found without downsizing our defense - at least, in the political calculation of the leadership.
So John Kyl has taken it upon himself to draw a line in the sand. The Hill:
Kyl revealed Thursday that he told congressional leaders to find someone else to fill the supercommittee seat he had been offered if the panel intended to further trim the Pentagon budget beyond the $350 billion over 10 years that was included in the August debt deal.
He told a standing-room-only lunch audience that he immediately told GOP leaders, "I'm off the committee" if further military cuts would be on the table.
"We're not going there," Kyl said sternly, recalling his message to his fellow GOP leaders. "Defense has given enough already."
The comments cleared up whether the Pentagon and defense industry have a strong ally on the high-level panel.
If the supercommittee fails to cut $1.2 trillion by Thanksgiving, automatic triggers would be enacted to reach that figure, including around $600 billion in additional defense cuts over 10 years.
Republicans are already saying that they will move to block the trigger on defense cuts if the supercommittee cannot come to an agreement. That means that the Dems will seek to block triggers for Medicare and other cherished liberal programs.
In short, as anyone with half a brain predicted when this deal was struck, nothing will be cut and it will be back to business as usual.
What Congress can do, they can undo...