So, What’s Plan B?

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House Armed Services Committee chairman, said June 21 he is not in favor of tax hikes to pay for defense shortfalls. Further, any compromise to stave off sequestration can’t cut any more from the Defense Department than the Obama Administration has already put forward in its budget proposal, he told reporters during a meeting in Washington, D.C. “Another $100 billion throws out all the work [the Pentagon] has done in the last year,” and would require reworking the Administration’s new defense strategy, said McKeon. He said he wants the Office of Management and Budget to tell his committee what they’re planning to do if sequestration takes effect in January. He said it was “hard to believe” Pentagon officials are sitting on their hands and not planning for the effect of sequestration, which would slash some $500 billion more from the defense budget through Fiscal 2021 on top of $487 billion in already programmed defense cuts. “It’s too big a deal,” he said. “I hope they were kind of telling us a little fib,” said McKeon of the Pentagon leadership.