The day after rioting mobs attacked a U.S. consulate in Libya leaving four officials dead, House Republicans said the future of the U.S. national security “hangs in the balance” because the nation can’t risk deep, across-the-board defense cuts scheduled to take place at the end of the year unless Congress acts.
The House will vote on legislation Thursday that would require President Obama to replace the defense sequestration cuts ahead of the November election. The bill also serves as a vehicle to repeal the sequester in 2013, provided that the House-passed sequestration plan or similar legislation become law, an unlikely scenario with Democrats in control of the Senate.
Ahead of the vote, the White House signaled its strong opposition to the bill, arguing that it “fails the test of fairness and shared responsibility” because it would inflict deep cuts to domestic programs, including Medicare, and would not impose a tax increase on millionaires and billionaires to offset some of the cuts, as Mr. Obama has long advocated.
“The bill also rejects any effort to achieve deficit reduction by asking the most fortunate Americans to pay their fair share,” said an OMB statement of administration policy released Wednesday.
Besides calling for tax hikes on the wealthy, a non-starter with Republicans, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Mr. Obama has failed to present a “reasonable and responsible” alternative.
“While our national security, the future of our military, and millions of jobs hang in the balance, the Obama administration’s opposition to the [bill] demonstrates that its only plan is to make excuses for its own inaction on averting the sequester,” Mr. Cantor said.
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Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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