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Smith hits GOP plan to curb defense budget cuts

- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2012

The senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said he would not back legislation by his Republican colleagues that seeks to undo defense spending cuts under sequestration for one year.

"I care about defense a great deal. I also care about transportation. I care about [National Institute of Health]. I care about education," said Rep. Adam Smith of Washington. "I care about all the rest of the discretionary budget as well, so I think it has to be an all or nothing deal with it."

Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, California Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has presented legislation that seeks to undo one year of defense spending reductions under sequestration — the automatic, across-the-board process that would trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years.

Mr. Smith said he and his Democratic colleagues would not be in favor of anything that only undoes defense spending cuts.

He said that any plan present by the Democrats would have to be bipartisan to pass, adding that would be difficult since Republicans "were reluctant to put any revenue on the table."

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