"Never let a crisis go to waste," advised former President Barack Hussein Obama (D) adviser and now Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel (D). Taking this lesson to heart, no matter how tragic the crisis, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) linked the explosion at the Hawthorne Marine Base in his state that killed seven US Marines to the sequester.
Mr. President, it's very important we continue training our military, so important. But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That's the way sequester was written. Now, the bill that's on the floor, we hope to pass today helps that a little bit. At least in the next six months, it allows the military some degree of ability to move things around a little bit. Flexibility, we call it, and that's good. But we have to be very vigilant. This sequester should go away. We have cut already huge amounts of money in deficit reduction. It's just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can't train and do the maintenance necessary.
These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it's going to cut back this stuff. I just hope everyone understands the sacrifices made by our military. They are significant, being away from home, away from families, away from their country.
According to Jim Miklaszewski of NBC News, Marine Corps officials strongly disagreed.
Now I can tell you, Marine Corps officials this afternoon are taking a strong exception to what Harry Reid implied. Saying that this this exercise, for example, was planned well in advance, had nothing to do with the budget cuts. There were no corners cut, and if they couldn't afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn't do the exercise.
And in fact, one Marine Corps official told us a short time ago that he considers this nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines.
Meanwhile the Marine Corps' Commander in Chief, seemingly exempt from the sequester, partied hearty--and lavishly--at taxpayer expense, at a delayed St. Patrick's Day celebration and reception with one per centers Chris Matthews, Joe Kennedy (D) and others.