In Republicans weekly address on Saturday, newly elected GOP Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska called for permanently turning off $500 billion in across-the-board Pentagon cuts set to be triggered March 1. A deficit-reduction package of $1.2 trillion passed by both chambers and signed by President Obama would void those defense cuts and an equal amount of domestic cuts.
In a preview of coming talks about voiding those defense and domestic cuts and over raising the nations borrowing limit, Fisher said Washington should instead cut domestic entitlement programs. Fischer said she supports a smaller federal government that focuses primarily on the things specifically mentioned as its responsibilities by the Constitution. The top one, she said, is defending the nation.
Fischer said programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are most to blame for the nations fiscal woes and massive debt not defense spending.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama wants to eliminate all the pending sequestration cuts. But Carney reiterated the president’s demand that a package to void them must include other federal cuts and new revenues. The latter has been called non-starter by even some moderate GOP senators.
Fischer said the defense cuts, first set in stone by the 2011 Budget Control Act, are slated to take effect because some in Washington have poor priorities.