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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, whose panel oversees a lot of defense pork, has spent much of the debt-ceiling debate fending off attacks on military spending. When the compromise bill emerged Wednesday, he put out another blistering press release that raged against its Pentagon-paring provisions:
Our senior military commanders have been unanimous in their concerns that deeper cuts could break the force. I take their position seriously and the funding levels in this bill won’t make their job easier... There is no scenario in the second phase of this proposal that does not turn a debt crisis into a national security crisis. Defense cannot sustain any additional cuts either from the joint committee or the sequestration trigger.
McKeon then proceeded to vote "Yes" on the debt-ceiling compromise bill, calling it "the least bad proposal before us."
So, if you think a bill is certain to make America less safe, why would you vote for it? I asked an Armed Services GOP staffer that question on Twitter.
His full reply: "you get the press release?"
I'll have more tomorrow on the impact this debt deal will actually have on US defense. Assuming no one attacks us in the meantime, of course.