GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, known for pushing for high military budgets, said Monday anyone who doesn’t support removing caps on military spending is an “a-hole.”
“If you’re going to fight fixing sequestration, you’re a complete a-hole,” he said at a conference put on by the Center for a New American Security, according to The Hill. “If you want a fight over this, whether you’re Democrat or Republican, we’re going to have one hell of a fight because I’m not going to put up with this crap any longer. Come next year, we’re going to get a resolution.”
Graham said that if Congress refuses to abandon sequestration, Congress will have “really lost our way.”
He added that if Congress won’t budge, the next president is going to have to scrap defense cuts. In his statement, Graham hinted that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will take the White House.
At the conference, Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, backed Graham’s remarks, saying, “This is not just something that has to be done. This is the first thing that must be done. And I don’t think the window is long. I think this is something where the new administration has to come in ready to go on inauguration day.”
Reed noted, the reason why sequestration doesn’t rank highly as a policy priority is because the average American isn’t even aware of the term in the first place.
“Terms like sequestration, terms like automatic cuts, it’s not in their daily lives,” said Reed. “When you talk about raising my taxes, when you talk about cutting my benefits, that resonates.”
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter shares many of Graham and Reed’s concerns. In a speech at the Naval War College late in May, Carter urged for Congress to come together on budget stability and advocated against lower defense spending.
“Strategically, we know what we’re doing. Obviously, we’d like to have more; we’d always like to have more. But we can do what we need to do,” Carter said.
“But I can’t pretend that I know we’ve figured out how to do that with $100 billion less in the coming years,” he added.
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