In Wake of Paris Attacks, McCain Attempts to Exempt DOD from Spending Caps

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday called for lifting the Budget Control Act caps on national security spending in the aftermath of last week’s Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris.

“What we must also acknowledge is that, while the threat posed by [the Islamic State] and our other adversaries is growing, our national security budgets are increasingly disconnected from our national security requirements,” McCain said prior to asking the chamber for unanimous consent for legislation exempting DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, the State Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration from the spending caps.

“Regardless of what [the Islamic State] will do next, or how the United States will decide to act, our national security budgets through fiscal year 2021 have been arbitrarily capped by the Budget Control Act,” said the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, reported Stars and Stripes.

The recent bipartisan budget agreement allows DOD to exceed the spending caps in fiscal 2016 and 2017 by $56 billion, but leaves the caps in place over the next four years.

“To continue on this way especially after Paris is not only absurd, it is dangerous,” McCain said.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the committee’s ranking member, blocked McCain’s request, but with “great reluctance.”

“I think Chairman McCain is heading in the right direction, which is trying to eliminate sequestration, but the real answer is the repeal of the Budget Control Act,” Reed said.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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