Republicans pledge to work toward avoiding sequestration
A top Republican senator said Nov. 25 that his party is willing to be flexible about increased revenues provided Democrats give ground on entitlements in the quest to find a legislative solution to sequestration, reports UPI
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on ABC’s “This Week” that the Republicans are motivated to seek a compromise solution to sequestration primarily because of the severe cuts it would impose on the military, the story said.
The tough stand that anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist has advocated might not be plausible with the Pentagon cuts looming so large on the horizon, Graham said. Sequestration calls for $500 billion in defense cuts over the next decade.
Sen. Dick Durbin (R-Ill.) said on the same Sunday talk show that he is confident Congress can solve the problem of the fiscal cliff and the associated sequestration plan and that progress will be made when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving Break, the story said.
Graham said sequestration would destroy the U.S. military, reports the Examiner.
“According to our own secretary of defense, it would be shooting ourselves in the head,” Graham is quoted as saying. “You’d have the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915, the smallest Air Force in the history of the country, so sequestration must be replaced.”
Graham said that it’s a fair request that his party “put revenue on the table” in discussions. “But to do this, I just don’t want to promise the spending cuts. I want entitlement reforms,” he said.
In related news, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said those working in the defense industry should be worried about the possibility of sequestration, reports Politico.
“You should be worried if you have a defense job,” Levin said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Whether an agreement is reached to avert sequestration depends in part on whether Republicans are willing to move away from the Grover Norquist pledge, which most of them signed, Levin said.
William Welsh is the managing editor of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @WilliamWelsh12.