By ANDRE FRANCISCO
Nearly $500 billion in automatic defense cuts, called sequestration, are coming to Washington, but many committees are continuing forward with budget proposals as if the sequestration monster they helped create has already been overcome. Some Members of Congress are putting on a show of dealing with the looming problem. Defense expert Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information at POGO, had some choice words in a piece on The Hill for those Members attempting to deal with sequestration.
That the Department of Defense must be defended from sequester is one of the few unifying beliefs in Washington, even if it is quite poorly informed. Maneuvering for the elections is more important to the actors in an elections spectacle. The Republicans want to label Democrats as “anti-defense,” idly standing by as the defense budget is cut, and the Democrats paint the Republicans as wantonly obstructionist. Both sides think they’ll leverage more votes in November by doing so, and are avidly sticking to their game plans.
Their opposing motivations resulted in typically dysfunctional legislation last week: an amendment to tell them something they already think they know, demanding a report from the executive branch that says the sequester means too many cuts too deep, administered in a mindless, automatic fashion. The only real purpose to be served is providing fodder for newly elevated bombast. Yet, the authors of the amendment preen themselves, play-acting that they secured a meaningful step forward.
Read more at The Hill's Congress Blog.
Andre Francisco is POGO's online producer