- - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

HOUSE

Chairman warns against deeper defense cuts

The chairman of the House panel overseeing the military budget has a simple message for the supercommittee charged with cutting the deficit: “Leave us alone.”

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon warned on Wednesday against deeper cuts in defense spending beyond the $350 billion over 10 years in the legislation Congress passed last month. In a discussion with reporters, the California Republican said his Armed Services Committee is still trying to get a handle on the first wave of reductions.

The supercommittee begins its work Thursday and is likely to consider further cuts in the military. If the panel fails to produce a plan, or Congress rejects its proposal to slice $1.2 trillion from the deficit, defense would face even more reductions - automatic cuts of up to $600 billion.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama honors NASCAR drivers during visit

President Obama says NASCAR and the presidency are alike: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong at some point during the season.

Mr. Obama commented at the White House Wednesday as he welcomed Jimmie Johnson and seven other drivers from last year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup series. Mr. Johnson has won the championship a record five consecutive times.

Mr. Obama also used the occasion to thank NASCAR for its work supporting military families. Mr. Obama said the drivers recently served dinner to 400 wounded troops and their families at the now-closed Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Johnson also visited the Pentagon on Wednesday morning.

Mr. Obama said the drivers are also planning a 9/11 anniversary event in Richmond with military families and first responders before a NASCAR race there this weekend.

HOUSE

Top Republican vows no disaster aid holdup

A top House Republican is promising there will be no holdup in replenishing disaster aid accounts.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor says that new disaster aid money doesn’t have to be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

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