Defense Department starts cuts ahead of sequester
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen weighs in
- Duration 4:51
- Date Jan 27, 2013
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen weighs in
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As the deadline for the major defense cuts known as sequestration during the fiscal cliff deal but the new deadline march 1 -- fast approaching.
And -- -- officials are already talking about the indiscriminate cuts that are going to have to happen.
Including laying off 46000 civilian workers if congress doesn't come up with a -- so will they get a deal done in time.
Joining us now Republican congresswoman Ileana ros Lehtinen who is a member of the foreign affairs committee and house thank you so -- Clinton -- appreciated.
All right so what is your sense among your colleagues about how close you are or arts going to be -- aborting sequestration.
I see sequestration happening now a lot of people are saying what is that word you know it sounds like kidnapping.
Really have a handle on it but it means draconian cuts.
Even though the military is not a big chunk of the budget.
They will take it indiscriminately at large cut so -- our military here we are were fighting an in Afghanistan were spread out all over the world.
For us that have what essentially will be the smallest military.
Before World War II to that level even though the threats against -- Are even greater so it's a devastating cut to the military.
We've exempted a 150 programs thank goodness domestic -- Social Security Medicare Medicaid etc.
But not to that not not to the providers of those services will be hearing from our hospitals -- setters in.
I don't see any movement Shannon in in congress to undo this I don't see it march 1 is right -- -- Is very very close and the president during one of the presidential debates though kind of I don't think dismissed the idea -- -- sequestration by half and you know congress -- in Arenas isn't going to play out but you're saying based on what you know what you hear and see right now you think that's a reality well we are famous for kicking the can down the road as you know.
And that march 1 is just around the corner.
We house Republicans are committed to making sure that sequestration does not happen.
But we need a partner in this just like the Israelis need the Palestinians.
Not that I equate those two but you need a partner you need two to tango as we say in South Florida.
And that we need somebody to -- to deal with it to you to compromise with the talk with.
I don't think that the Democrats are doing very much to stop these cuts from happening the president famously said during one of the dead dates during the campaign.
Sequestration will not happened yet he was the one who developed this whole idea I hope it doesn't happen we're gonna worked so it doesn't happen.
But we need Democrats and especially the senate to help us out to forge this these cuts to not take place we need the fighting -- A military to be ever ready.
Now the White House has said they didn't come up with this idea that it was congress' idea there's been some debate over that -- Bob Woodward's book he he says that it was administration officials who proposed this idea came up with that.
-- -- debating that I mean it's it's now upon us.
How do you answer those who say the defense budget the Pentagon is bloated -- even Republican to say there is room -- cut there.
Is there a -- to satisfy both sides in to acknowledge that maybe there is some fat and needs to go.
But maybe not in this way of course there.
Every every budget can be trimmed down.
But when you look at the threats that the United States is facing.
In the Middle East look at -- North Africa blowing up the al-Qaeda the Taliban everyone is is that right they're trying to get as.
The military is only less than that 20% of the budget yet they're going to take 50% of the cuts it's just too hard -- on our military.
We've got to fight these cuts.
Do you think there's less motivation for some on the other side of the app because he domestic programs that it just about everybody agrees you would want to see cut and the key benefits to as a security and other -- folks.
Well because those things are on the table does it take away some of the motivation for both sides to get together and make something happen I think that that pressure I'm glad that those up.
Programs are exempt -- 149 of them mark I'm glad that they are exempt but it does take out some of the pressure because.
Folks know oh we're not -- to hurt the senior citizens but.
We are going to hurt the providers of those services to those senior citizens and so if those providers are not reimbursed and heaven knows.
Hospitals are already cut and doctors are to the bone.
No pun intended.
Then it's going to be really hard for them to -- Those elderly patients so we need to compromise it's not a four letter word let's work together and and save all of these programs.
Knowing that we've got to sixteen point four trillion dollar debt that has got to be under control the spending problem is where addicts to spending.
And the first step for overcoming addiction is to understand that you have a problem.
Washington has a spending problem -- we wish you and your colleagues on the other side of the aisle all the best -- finding some solutions -- -- invitation thanks for game.