Jul 11, 2011 11:45 AM GMT
So much for Tea Party small government principles:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58661.htmlAfter months of tough talk, House Republicans ran away from defense cuts last week with the great majority opposing even modest reductions at the expense of military bands or the Pentagon’s sponsorship of NASCAR races to promote recruitment.
The $649.2 billion appropriations bill, including $118.6 billion for wars overseas, sailed through Friday with only a dozen Republicans in opposition. And when conservative freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina proposed to freeze core Pentagon spending at 2011 levels, he was run over by almost three-quarters of his party.
A bipartisan compromise, which would have preserved an $8.5 billion increase, fared no better, getting just 47 Republicans — less than half the number that voted to wipe out the entire Food for Peace program only weeks ago.
“The military budget is not on the table,” said a frustrated Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). “The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch.”
Numbers compiled by the professional staff on Inouye’s committee show that over the past decade, the annual Pentagon appropriations bill has grown at five times the rate of domestic nonsecurity spending bills. If additional emergency war funding related to Iraq and now Afghanistan is counted, the disparity is closer to 9-to-1.
“Personally, I like to think I am serious about cutting our deficits,” Mulvaney said of his proposal to freeze defense. “Many of us have gone around back home and told people how serious we are. But how can we look them in the eye and tell them that we are serious about cutting this deficit and about cutting spending and then come in and plus-up the base defense budget?”