WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee’s top Democrat expects a repeat of last year, when Congress reversed a list of Pentagon budget-cutting proposals.
For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration’s defense budget request puts forth weapons program plans and other cost-cutting proposes. But few, such as an Air Force plan to retire the A-10 attack plane, are expected to make it through the defense authorization and appropriations committees.
“It is fitting that the Department of Defense released its budget request on Groundhog Day,” committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said in a statement. “Sequestration is a failed policy that remains the law of the land, and Congress has yet to enact a long-term solution.
Complete coverage of the fiscal 2016 budget request
“I fully expect that Congress will again fight proposals to allow the Department of Defense to deal with the damaging effects of sequestration,” he said. “We have seen this act before. I hope the ending is different this time around.”
Smith applauded the White House’s overall $4 trillion federal spending plan because it lays out a way to get rid of sequestration.
“I applaud the president for putting forth a budget proposal that would do away with sequestration,” Smith said.
“In today’s dangerous world, we need to make sure that we are supporting our military and providing it with the tools and resources that it needs to protect national security and allowing the threat of sequestration to persist flies in the face of that responsibility,” he added.
But GOP leaders in both chambers oppose the tax hikes, among other tactics, it would use to alleviate the automatic budget cuts.