Republican senators propose bill to stop defense cuts

Republican senators proposed a plan that would spare the US military from nearly $500 billion in automatic spending cuts next January by reducing the federal workforce instead, Reuters reported.

Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, and John McCain, top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, proposed the legislation on Thursday that would freeze pay for federal workers, including members of Congress, and also cut the workforce, which would amount to $110 billion in savings for one year, the Associated Press reported. McCain and Kyl were among six senators to say they will introduce this legislation.

Read more at GlobalPost: US Army chief comfortable with brigade cuts

“The mission ought to define the budget; the budget shouldn’t define the mission,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas said, Bloomberg reported. “The most important thing the federal government does is keep the American people safe.”

The Republican effort has no Democratic supporters. Sen. Carl Levin, (D-Mich.), head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he wouldn’t support any approach that doesn’t consist of raising new revenue, Bloomberg reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: US Army to slash 13 brigades, 80,000 troops, as part of budget cuts

Pentagon budget cuts are a part of automatic spending reductions that were mandated after a congressional supercommittee failed to reach an agreement in November on how to reduce the federal deficit in another way, Bloomberg reported. Separately, the Pentagon plans to cut $490 billion in spending reductions over the next 10 years.

A similar bill already exists in the House and President Barack Obama said he would veto any bill that would undo automatic cuts that affect military and domestic programs, the AP reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Military budget cuts: Defense Secretary Panetta to introduce revamped defense strategy

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