Bloomberg News

Democrat Warns Against Further Cuts to Pentagon’s Budget

October 13, 2011

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The top Democrat on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee warned Congress’ deficit-reduction supercommittee today against further cuts to the Pentagon’s budget.

Representative Adam Smith of Washington state sent his recommendations to the supercommittee and pressed the 12-member panel to “avoid cuts to national defense accounts” beyond the roughly $450 billion in budget reductions already projected over the next decade.

The panel must avoid “any deficit reduction recommendations that might prematurely force the DOD to make what may prove to be precarious strategic adjustments,” Smith wrote, referring to the Department of Defense.

Smith said the supercommittee must instead consider increasing federal revenue.

“Including revenues in an overall balanced approach to deficit reduction is the best course of action for the committee,” he said.

Smith’s position on avoiding further defense cuts is similar to that of Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, the California Republican who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. While McKeon said he opposed increases in revenue, such as taxes, he said he would support boosting revenue if there were no other way to prevent cuts in defense.

--Editors: Steven Komarow, Terry Atlas

To contact the reporter on this story: Roxana Tiron in Washington at rtiron@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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