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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Democrats Will Not Support Negating Automatic Cuts, Reid Says

  • November 16, 2011
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Democrats will not go along with a Republican effort to reverse the automatic spending cuts that would go into effect if the congressional supercommittee fails to strike a deficit-reduction deal by Nov. 23, Majority Speaker Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said, the Hill newspaper reported.

Reid’s comment follows a similar threat President Obama made last week, and both point to the pervasive sense on Capitol Hill that the super committee is unlikely to reach a compromise to trim the deficit by $1.2 trillion. That pessimism — along with warnings from top Pentagon officials that savings beyond the $450 billion in cuts already called for would undermine national security — has fueled the talk of undoing the $500 billion to $600 billion in additional cuts that would be imposed on DOD.

Reid said Senate Democrats would be forced to block such an effort to ensure that non-defense discretionary programs do not bear a disproportionate burden of spending cuts over the next decade.

Some Democrats believe their party has the advantage in deficit-reduction negotiations as they have little incentive to compromise if Republicans fail to make larger concessions on tax increases, according to the Hill. The automatic cuts do not jeopardize Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

A possible backup plan for defense supporters is counting hundreds of billions of dollars that the nation no longer plans to spend in Iraq and Afghanistan toward the automatic cuts in defense spending, reported the Washington Post.

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