Armed Services Chair: Never Seen Such Lack of 'Truth-Telling' from Commander in Chief

By Elizabeth Harrington | March 1, 2013 | 12:34pm EST
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.). (AP) ( – Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) said on Friday that he has never seen such a lack of honesty from President Barack Obama over the sequester budget cuts, adding, “I don’t know what extent this White House will go to, but it’s got to end.” “I have never in my lifetime seen such a lack of leadership and truth-telling emanating from the White House and from our commander-in-chief,” McKeon said during a press conference on Capitol Hill as the across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, apparently were going into effect. The cuts, which constitute $44 billion less in increased spending in 2013, constitute about 1.2 percent of the federal budget for this year.
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“Senator [Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] and the Democratic leadership for three years have not passed a budget and we’ve given them a pass,” he said.  “You’ve given them a pass.” McKeon said the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all the military chiefs are operating without budgets. “These men, who’ve dedicated their life to protecting our nation, we put them in these very responsible jobs and give them no financial support, no direction,” he said. “Sequestration was the president’s idea over a year ago.  And when we tried to fix it, he said, ‘No, if you do anything, I’ll veto it,’” McKeon said.  “Then during the campaign he said it won’t happen.  Then the last couple of weeks he’s come out and said it’s armageddon, the world’s going to end.  Then the last couple of days he’s softened and said, no, it’s just kind of pitiful.  He’s played all kinds of roles in this position.” President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) “And when [Bob] Woodward, a respected journalist, tried to lay out the truth, he was crucified, vilified,” he said. “And I don’t know what extent this White House will go to, but it’s got to end,” McKeon said.  “We are done cutting our defense.” Automatic, across-the-board cuts taken equally from defense and non-defense spending began to take effect on Friday.  The reductions, as stipulated under the Budget Control Act of 2011, are designed to trim a minimum of $1.2 trillion in spending over 10 years. McKeon is concerned the arbitrary cuts will be detrimental to national defense.  The Defense Department already announced in February that it would cancel the USS Harry Truman’s deployment to the Persian Gulf, reducing the number of aircraft carriers in the region in half, citing budgetary concerns from the sequester.

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