Truman National Security Project

Rep. Ryan, Ohio Veterans Pressure Congressional Republicans on Defense Spending

By Stephanie Dreyer | 8.30.12

Warren, Ohio. – Today, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17), former Ohio Congressman John Boccieri and Ohio Veteran Paul Worley called on congressional Republicans to avoid pending defense cuts by working with Democrats to enact a truly balanced approach to deficit reduction.

Rather than compromise on a plan to avoid Sequestration, Congressional Republicans continue to prioritize tax cuts for millionaires over national security funding while blaming the Administration for the cuts they voted to impose. At an in-person press conference at Rep. Ryan’s district office, Rep. Ryan, Boccieri and Worley called on Congress to protect America’s national security by avoiding Sequestration’s across-the-board defense cuts.

Congressman Ryan said, “While we need to have a long-term strategy for balancing the budget, blindly cutting at defense spending and other programs is not the solution. Sequestration means that instead of using a scalpel, we’re hacking at the budget with a meat axe. We need to look not just at smart ways to reduce spending, but also at ways to enhance revenue. The fiscal difficulties we’re facing aren’t simply a result of spending; they also reflect tax policy that favors the very rich at the expense of national priorities like defense. We need to address both sides of the equation. Sequestration is not the answer.”

Former Congressman John Boccieri said, “Congressional Republicans have decided to put tax breaks for millionaires above funding our military. They’re basically holding the defense budget hostage. There’s no question that defense cuts could be bad for military communities, so we need real alternatives, not election year politics at the expense of our national security.  This kind of brinksmanship shows just how irresponsible they’ve gotten on national security. With one war over and a second winding down, it’s time to take a responsible look at our defense spending, so we can prepare for future threats important to defending our national interests.”

Ohio Veteran Paul Worley said, “There’s not an easy answer, but well thought out strategy should determine a solution.  Our political leaders need to put aside self-interests and work together to make national security policy based upon strategic thinking.  Putting political expediency before our national security interests is a leadership failure to our troops and veterans and harms our national security.”

The Obama Administration has laid out a specific plan to avoid defense cuts and reduce the deficit significantly but Republicans on the Hill have refused to consider fiscal responsibility as part of our national security challenges. Strategy-based cuts to Pentagon spending need to be part of an approach that will protect economic security and the middle class.


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