|Coffman proposes alternative plan for defense cuts--Wants targeted cuts instead of across-the-board|
WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., announced that he will soon introduce legislation to stop the automatic across-the-board spending cuts, better known as sequestration, to the Department of Defense (DoD). Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly warned that these arbitrary cuts will be harmful to our national security. He wants them replaced with an alternative plan of targeted cuts that he claims will not compromise the nation’s defense capabilities.
“Our country deserves better than sequestration,” Coffman said. “Sequestration will jeopardize our national security and hurt our military personnel, their families and our veterans.”
Sequestration comes as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which allowed an increase to the nation’s debt limit in exchange for spending cuts to reduce the deficit. The intention of the Act was to have the across-the-board cuts, divided equally between defense and nondefense discretionary spending, only serve as a place holder until Congress could come up with an alternative plan to reach the same deficit reduction goal. Congress failed to come up with an alternative before the end of last year, and only could agree on a two month delay that expires at the beginning of next month. Now, under the sequester, the DoD faces over $500 billion in cuts over the next ten years on top of $487 billion in reductions previously agreed to.
“We can and must reduce government spending at all levels, including at the Pentagon,” Coffman added. “The greatest threat to our national security right now is our rising and unsustainable debt levels and no area of the federal government should be off limits when it comes to reducing spending.”
Some of Coffman’s targeted cuts, totaling over $500 billion over the next ten years, include: saving $53 billion by using local civilian contractors instead of military personnel to perform commercial-type activities on military bases; saving $20 billion by reducing U.S. forces in Europe; and saving $36.7 billion by reducing the number of (DoD) civilian positions through attrition.
“Concerned Veterans for America applauds Representative Mike Coffman for courageously proposing pragmatic and responsible solutions to fiscal challenges within the Department of Defense,” said the bipartisan group, which promotes both a strong military and fiscal responsibility.
Coffman will introduce his legislation on the week of Monday, February 25, 2013.
Published on February 21, 2013