Rep. McKeon on GOP effort to halt sequester cuts
California lawmaker weighs in on debate
- Duration 6:23
- Date Feb 21, 2013
California lawmaker weighs in on debate
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Now -- the other perspective from the other side of the country California's -- McKim the chairman of the house armed services committee joins us.
From Los Angeles mr.
chairman thanks for being here.
Thanks Brett thanks for him -- just heard that the White House says that many Republicans.
Want to sequester to go into place.
What's your reaction.
You know I have been talking up for a year and a half about this and it's like the White House last week woke up -- -- zoology.
We're gonna have sequestration.
It was the president's idea originally.
He put on the table and when we tried to change it a year ago he said.
-- -- Anything you pass I'll -- tell.
Salt but this just boggles my mind hearing them talk like -- like.
All of a sudden now we've got a problem and that and I don't know where they've been the secretary of defense understood.
We held five hearings.
Over a year ago about the impact of sequestration on the military.
The secretary said it would be like shooting ourselves in the head.
The all of the other the chairman of the joint chiefs everybody that testified before a committee told how devastating -- would be that was a year and a half ago.
We also held a hearing on the economic impact.
We just learned about Virginia and California and Texas.
Via the impact on these states we knew all of that over a year ago.
They they will have privy to this they can see what we're talking and they could hear what people were saying.
This is going to be devastating.
And now it's like gee we didn't even know this was out there.
I don't know what these guys and thinking about down there.
Congressman there's a bit of a mixed message from Republicans.
Here's what Democrats point to that point to speaker Boehner and a comment he made after the deal was signed that included the sequestration trigger.
In August August 1 two point eleven.
When he said this quote when you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House I got 98% of what I want -- I'm pretty happy.
You know how do you kind of square all of this.
You know I've I've heard that quote by it I am and talked to John about that that particular.
Quote me what what he was referring to I just know that he came to our committee and promised us that sequestration would not happen.
Well -- -- -- members voted against it.
Yeah let's go beyond the whole who's responsible thing let's go beyond sure what's happening now.
Let's go beyond this and what's happening now are -- efforts underway now to stop it.
I mean it doesn't seem to me like there's any negotiation.
Anywhere to prevent it from going into play so is there is there.
We have passed two bills in the house the senate hasn't taken a -- I reintroduced my bill a couple of weeks ago when the president finally said it was OK to have a short term fix I introduced my bill again.
That would pay for sequestration for this year.
By reducing the size of the federal workforce by 10%.
And and that would take place over ten years and would ease this pain that that everybody's going to fill in about a week.
Emma and nobody's.
I guess looking at that may be when we get back and and they see how serious this -- were a few days away from it.
Maybe they'll pay attention to I I hope that we can do something to -- about a looks to me like it's going to be forced on us.
-- about transfer authority.
What about the passing a bill that says the Pentagon and these agencies for at least this time.
Could have transfer authority to put priorities.
-- -- hurt the personnel but take away from.
Let's -- conferences or weapons systems or something that they wouldn't hurt people.
But would could.
You know not across the board cuts what about that.
Personnel has already been excluded.
Sold none of these savings are going to come out -- personnel the president made that decision.
Last August so they are are the -- going to -- Well.
I was talking secretary of the army and he told me that.
Were already behind and all -- that's -- overseas contingency -- we've been spending more then then there's been allotted.
And if if the sequestration.
Goes in full bore.
And the CR continues through the rest a year he was going to have to take at all out of operations and maintenance that's the thing that has -- most concerned.
Our troops are not going to be getting the training they need to carry out their missions and return home safely.
I know that they're not getting the training now that they did a year ago and I know within a few months it's going to be cut back even more drastically.
People don't understand that we've already cut a half trillion dollars out of defense.
What we're talking about is an additional half trillion OK but what about the Republicans out there a congressman who say this is 85 billion dollars in -- three point six trillion dollar budget.
And they'd like to see even more cuts.
You know I wish they would come and listen to our briefings here what we hear about China about North Korea about Iran.
Here are how we are having to make.
The serious cuts if we get a budget every year from the president.
Of 2010 he said we would have been 610.
Billion to spend this year for defense.
That has now dropped down to if sequestration goes and 500 billion that's a hundred billion dollar cut -- you say 85 billion because we're down -- seven months left in this year.
But it's a major cut.
And these chiefs that have made plans that -- for a year to absorb the 487.
Billion in cuts now looking at another 500 billion.
They already changed the strategy that we've had since World War II they said.
The chiefs said we will not be able to absorb another dollar without changing our strategy -- won't be able to do what they're asking us to do.
chairman -- run up against a heartbreak here are really appreciate your time tonight thank you sir we'll have you back again and we'll see what happens over the next week.
Thanks for what you're doing Brett.