Federal budget cutting fever hits the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow. Defense spending, however, seems to have received a cost cutting inoculation by Republican leaders who have reserved all of the pain for the domestic side. While Republicans have cut billions of dollars from important domestic programs in the name of fiscal responsibility, funding for the Department of Defense has increased by $8.1 million.
A number of Members seek to end this budget hypocrisy and plan to introduce amendments targeting wasteful defense spending, including funding for the war in Afghanistan. Here’s the lineup as we have it, check back tomorrow for breaking updates:
Rep. Walter Jones
Cutting $400 million for the newly created Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund.
Rep. Tom Rooney
Cutting $450 million for the F-35 alternate engine program.
Rep. Jerry Nadler
Cutting $90 billion for the war in Afghanistan. (Leaving approx. $10 billion to fund the withdrawal of troops.)
In line with recommendations from the Sustainable Defense Task Force report, we expect he’ll call for a cut to the force structure by 33,000 troops. The bill will also limit the number of troops stationed in Europe to 35,000.
I haven’t confirmed details with his staff but it is believed he’ll introduce an amendment following on his stand-alone bill cutting DoD funding back to 2008 levels.
Long an advocate of ending the war, Rep. Tierney may also offer an amendment.
As Sen. Rand Paul put it last weekend at the Conservative CPAC convention: “If you say you won’t reform military spending then you are a big government conservative and you can’t lay claim to shrinking the deficit.”