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Next budget deadline could bring big military cuts

Posted October 18, 2013

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— Two days after President Barack Obama signed legislation that reopened the federal government, officials are already looking toward the next budget deadline in January.

The budget deal approved by Congress late Wednesday funds the government through Jan. 15 and allows the U.S. Treasury to continuing borrowing to finance operations through Feb. 7.

The Jan. 15 deadline for a new budget also carries the threat of about $100 billion in across-the-board spending cuts under the second round of the federal sequester. Those cuts would include about $52 billion to the military.

State leaders say that could devastate North Carolina's economy, noting the first round of sequestration last spring led to furloughs and service cuts at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and other military facilities across the state.

The only way to head the sequester off is for Congress to approve an alternative plan to balance the budget. This week's deal does require the House and Senate to go back to the negotiating table.

"The effect is going to be especially hard on our military because they were, to some extent, protected in the last round. They cannot be protected this time," Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price said. "Moreover, things like medical research, highway building, Head Start, it's going to be very, very serious. We need to find other ways of addressing our budget issues."

Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr agreed that the automatic cuts must be avoided, but he said Democrats have refused till now to consider any plan that doesn't involve raising tax revenue.

Officials say military cuts would harm NC economy

"I hope that the recent decision to go to conference on the budget means we can finally take sequestration off the table and start cutting the rampant waste, fraud and abuse out of government spending," Burr said in a statement.

Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers echoed Burr in laying the blame at the feet of Senate Democrats. Ellmers spokesman Tom Doheny said the House passed a Defense Appropriations Bill that addresses some of the problems with sequestration, but the Senate hasn't followed suit.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said she is working to protect North Carolina military facilities, noting that sequestration jeopardizes military readiness in addition to hurting the economy and military families.

"It’s time for Congress to stop manufacturing crises and get to work on a long-term bipartisan plan that gets our fiscal house in order and grows our economy without placing the burden of reducing our deficit on the backs of our service members and middle-class North Carolina families," Hagan said in a statement.

Gov. Pat McCrory and several of his top cabinet officials will travel to Washington, D.C., on Monday to meet with senior military leaders, and his representatives said the automatic cuts will be at the top of the agenda.

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  • aspenstreet1717 Oct 21, 2013

    So we should keep borrowing money from China to keep bases left over from the cold war?

  • Liebe ist fur alle Oct 21, 2013

    "The military budget has declined over the past few years"

    It needs to decline faster, the pork projects need to be cut, and Congress needs to stop forcing the military to buy equipment they do not need or want.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 21, 2013

    The military budget has declined over the past few years, while social spending has increased. The military is one part of our government that actually helps the economy in the private sector because of all the small businesses that have government contracts. Cut military spending and you cut private sector jobs. Great plan, Obama/Reid. On the plus side, if they cut the military in 2014, Democrats won't need to run for reelection.

  • Liebe ist fur alle Oct 21, 2013

    "I support our military but they have a grossly bloated budget. "

    Those of us in the military thank you for your support.

  • aspenstreet1717 Oct 21, 2013

    I support our military but they have a grossly bloated budget. We still have bases that should have been closed 20 years ago.

  • Liebe ist fur alle Oct 21, 2013

    " And the only hate out there comes from the Left"

    As usual, whatelseisuseless, you haven't been paying attention.

  • Liebe ist fur alle Oct 21, 2013

    Excellent! The military should be part and parcel to any cuts being made.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 21, 2013

    "Funny how the GOP thinks returning military spending to levels of 5 years ago (still the highest in history of the *planet* until now) counts as “cuts” or “dismantling our military.”

    Also notice how the GOP hates people who work for the government unless they are funded by the DOD??? (their actual job, title, department does not matter as long as they are label “defense”)….then cuts “cost jobs” not save tax dollars."

    Funny HOW THE DEMS count the sequestration as cuts when it is not. Oh and Nancy already told us the Federal Government is cut to the bone. And the only hate out there comes from the Left. What some of us understand is, the more Government Employees you have, the more costly it is to sustain it. So this constant growth of the Federal Government is crushing the private sector that is paying for it.

  • Black HelicoptersNFood Insurance Oct 21, 2013

    "I'm OK with cutting the military budget by 50%. Paraphrasing the old saying, if the US has 2500 fighter jets, everything looks like like a bombing target."

    So, you know what that impact is to America?-dws

    The sky will fall, Canada will invade, and we will be waving the Martian flag by Christmas….yeah, Rush told me what to think if military spending is returned to PRE-IRAQ WAR levels (HINT: that war that we are no longer in)…

  • Black HelicoptersNFood Insurance Oct 21, 2013

    Funny how the GOP thinks returning military spending to levels of 5 years ago (still the highest in history of the *planet* until now) counts as “cuts” or “dismantling our military.”

    Also notice how the GOP hates people who work for the government unless they are funded by the DOD??? (their actual job, title, department does not matter as long as they are label “defense”)….then cuts “cost jobs” not save tax dollars.

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