GOP Must Stop Using The Military As An Excuse To Justify Massive Spending – By Rachel Bovard (Dailywire) / July 15 2019
It’s spending season in Washington, and once again, funding for the troops is being used as a political bargaining chip.
Congress hasn’t passed any of the 12 spending bills required to fund the government by September 30, and the clock is ticking. Democrats are trying to finagle a two-year spending deal that will drastically increase spending and open the door to negotiations on a host of issues where they’d like to confront President Donald Trump. Senate Republicans, in a face-slapping move to the president, are inclined to agree with them.
The White House is not as eager to cut a deal with Democrats. Rather, they’ve floated a one-year spending extension (known in Washington-speak as a continuing resolution, or a “CR”), which freezes spending at current levels, and doesn’t allow Democrats to block their efforts on deregulation or roll back critical pro-life policies.
Congress and the White House should be cutting spending from last year’s levels, not freezing them. But Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are using the military as a pawn to spend even more.
A one-year CR, according to McConnell, will cut funding for the troops by $71 billion. Other Senate Republicans have pointed to the sequester — legally required spending cuts — as a reason to oppose the White House plan.
Even though there is every indication that the White House is taking a reasonable approach to these negotiations, the insatiable spenders in Congress are refusing to even engage with the White House. Moreover, their comments are a misrepresentation of what the White House is proposing and ignorant of how these exact same issues have been handled in the past.
First and foremost, the military pay increase required by law will go into effect, regardless. It’s dealt with in the National Defense Authorization Act, which has already passed both the House and the Senate.
But most importantly, the White House appears prepared to sign a bill that gives the Department of Defense (“DOD”) flexibility to spend money where need be — the same way past CRs have provided for bomb-resistant vehicles in Iraq and nuclear submarines moving through the acquisition process.
If appropriators, the members of Congress in charge of spending, are really concerned about defense spending, they’ll give DOD the necessary flexibility in a CR — the same way many of them did in 2011 and 2012, when DOD was under a CR for 279 days.
But there are other critical factors for why a two-year spending strategy is both a negligent and careless way to make policy for Republicans.