John McCain On Defense Cuts: “We Passed It, We Can Reverse It.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) continued his slide from unifying maverick war hero to confusing partisan grump this week, announcing that he had no intentions of following a debt ceiling deal that had been past by the Senate.
Under the deal, members of a Congressional “super committee” were chosen: six senators and six representatives, divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats. These committee members were charged with cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit in the next ten years. Any plan they come up with that is supported by only seven members will automatically go to a vote in Congress.
If the committee does not produce a recommended plan by Nov. 23, or if Congress does not approve that plan, a series of pre-determined spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion will automatically be triggered. One of the few concessions received from Republicans in the deal was that defense spending would be part of the triggered cuts. For example, no tax cut repeals were included in the initial deal.
During a press conference yesterday, McCain stated that if the automatic spending cuts were triggered, he would “be amongst the first on the floor” to nullify the defense portion of spending cuts.
“Congress is not bound by this—it’s something we passed; we can reverse it,” said McCain.
(Unfortunately, this is possibly the most honest account I’ve read of how much you can trust a politician’s promise.)
Many accused the Republicans of holding the nation hostage for purely political reasons with their insistence on deficit reduction, which some experts claim is actually harmfully when spending is needed to reboot the economy.
McCain’s most recent statement further suggests that Republicans were never very serious about either reducing the deficit or the supposed dangers of raising the debt ceiling.
Having a busy day yesterday, McCain also found time to tell Fox News that government regulations was costing American businesses “billions and billions of jobs.” (Really, in a country of 300 million people?) While this was clearly just McCain misspeaking, Greg Sargent at the Washington Post explains how his larger reasoning makes just as little sense.