February 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The United States is at risk of becoming a second-rate power if automatic budget cuts go into effect, plunging the armed forces into the most significant readiness crisis they have faced in more than a decade, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Thursday. Panetta, who is retiring soon from his post, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that if the reductions are allowed to stand he would have to throw the country's national defense strategy "out the window. " But he also assured lawmakers the Pentagon would take the steps necessary to deal with possible threats in the Persian Gulf region after he approved the Navy's request to halve its aircraft carrier presence in the area.
December 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues: House GOP spending plan. Voting 215-209, the House on Thursday passed a Republican bill (HR 6684) to replace about $110 billion in soon-to-begin across-the-board cuts in military and domestic spending with a new round of domestic spending cuts. Sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the bill's main purpose was to head off $55 billion in automatic defense cuts over one year scheduled to start Jan. 3 under "sequester" rules of the 2011 Budget Control Act. A yes vote was to pass the bill.
November 12, 2012
"In the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together: reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. " - President Barack Obama, on the night of his reelection. "Mr. President, this is your moment. We're ready to be led - not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. " - House Speaker John A. Boehner, on the fiscal crisis.
July 9, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Money for the Pentagon and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is proving largely immune from the budget-cutting that's slamming other government agencies in the rush to bring down the deficit. On a 336-87 vote Friday, the Republican-controlled House backed a $649 billion defense-spending bill that boosts the Defense Department budget by $17 billion. The strong bipartisan embrace of the measure came as White House and congressional negotiators face an Aug. 2 deadline on agreeing to trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts and raising the borrowing limit so the United States does not default on debt payments.
May 3, 2011
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I believed the moon landing happened because I saw it on television, and I had no problem believing Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone. But the killing of Osama bin Laden feels fictional. First is the fact that he was living in Abbottabad, a major city in Pakistan near the Pakistani military academy and that, supposedly, no one knew it. Second, our forces lost no one despite having a helicopter crash. Finally, there is the lack of a body on display.
February 27, 2011
In the push to cut federal spending, Congress and President Obama need to get serious about reducing the military's budget. The Pentagon was largely protected during House Republicans' recent move to cut more than $60 billion from the current year's budget. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates' promise to cut $78 billion over five years would only slow growth in the military budget. The military accounts for an enormous share of federal spending. The Defense Department's proposed budget for fiscal 2012 is $553 billion.
August 11, 2010
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' plan to curb military spending is a needed step, but Congress should work on cutting the Pentagon's budget even further. Gates on Monday laid out a specific proposal to trim defense spending by $100 billion over the next five years. Among the cuts, he'd eliminate a military command in Norfolk, Va., and shrink the number of private contractors who are paid by the Pentagon. Saving $100 billion is nothing to shrug at. And Gates should get credit for trying to reduce administrative costs without harming the nation's fighting ability.
February 4, 2003 |
The Bush administration's 2004 military budget, described offhandedly by one official as "about a billion dollars a day or $42 million an hour," provides more money for missile defense, ships and unmanned aircraft - but no money for war with Iraq. Pentagon officials said the cost of any conflict would have to be added to the $379.9 billion request submitted to Congress yesterday for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The military budget represents about 17 percent of President Bush's overall 2004 federal budget proposal.