Doheny: Bill Owens Weak on Defense, Won’t Stand Up For Military

September 17, 2012 at 11:00 am (Bill Owens, Budget Control Act, Defense, Defense Cuts, Matt Doheny, New York, NY-21, Sequestration)

Democrat Bill Owens continued to show his weakness on defense Thursday when he voted against a plan that would have avoided defense cuts that are certain to impact the 21st Congressional District. (Roll Call #577).
 
“My opponent first voted to cut defense spending by $500 billion, which the Obama administration said Friday would have a ‘devastating impact’ on our country,” said Matt Doheny, the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties’ candidate in the 21st Congressional District. “Now, he’s refusing to stand up for our soldiers, our schools and our civilian workforce and stop cuts that will lead to 113,000 lost jobs in New York.”
                                    
Owens voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which the Obama administration says will force irresponsible, “blunt and indiscriminate” cuts to both defense and non-defense spending. (Roll Call #690, 8/1/11)
 
The Office of Management and Budget says the 9.4 percent cut in discretionary defense funding – coupled with a 10 percent cut in mandatory defense programs – will “result in a reduction in readiness of many non-deployed units, delays in investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs, declines in military research and development efforts and reductions in base services for military families.”
 
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said sequestration would result in “the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915 and the smallest Air Force in its history.”
 
Frederick Vollrath, a senior Pentagon official, has testified that these forced cuts will cause 10 percent of the 800,000-strong civilian workforce in the Department of Defense to lose their jobs. Fort Drum, in both the old 23rd Congressional District and new 21st district, has 4,600 civilian workers. If similar cuts were made, 460 local jobs could be lost.
 
In addition, the Indian River School District stands to lose $1.38 million in federal impact aid due to sequestration. Carthage Central School would lose $605,730, according to the Center for American Progress.
 
Owens has also remained silent about the Labor Department’s “guidance” to federal contracts that encouraged them to hold off on giving layoff notices, in violation of federal labor law. Contractors, both local and regional, earned $392.7 million from contracts with Fort Drum alone in fiscal year 2011.
 
“My opponent said he was ‘confident’ that these irresponsible cuts would never go into effect,” said Doheny. “Yet since the deal was struck 13 months ago, he’s voted against repeated attempts to avoid these dangerous cuts. He may not be willing to stand up for our military, our schools and our civilian workers, but I am.”

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Surprise! Obama Administration Breaks the Law … Again

September 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm (Defense Cuts, Defense Spending, Fiscal Cliff, Jake Tapper, John Thune, Lawlessness, Military Cuts, Military Spending, Mitt Romney, Pentagon, President Obama, Sequestration)

Glenn Thrush, writer for the Politico, recently produced an e-book on the Obama campaign, that caused quite a stir.  While many have focused on the many conflicts the campaign has suffered this year – an issue with which they did not contend with as much in 2008 – there is another damning aspect of the book that was vastly under-reported.

Essentially, the President was willing to place his re-election bid above the needs of our economy and our national defense. 

Excerpts from the book claim that Obama rebuffed pleas from Nancy Pelosi of all people, to reconsider the sequestered defense cuts because doing so would make reelection more difficult.

Here are a couple of quotes from Thrush’s work that stand out:

“In mid-2012, the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, requested a sit-down to ask Obama to reconsider the billions of defense cuts that would kick in automatically as part of the 2011 budget deal. The cuts included in ‘the sequester,’ she argued, would hurt Democratic House members with major defense contractors in their districts. They were asking for an alternative state of cuts, or any kind of plan that would keep local employers – and, by implication, local contributors – happy.” 

And…

“Obama told the former speaker what he had been saying for months – that he wasn’t budging on the defense cuts. Doing so would surrender his only leverage in forcing House Republicans to accept the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy – the only weapon he had against their efforts ‘to delegitimize me,’ as he put it. Moreover, he bluntly called on Hill Democrats to reorient their priorities – from them to him. ‘Look, guys,’ he told Pelosi, Harry Reid, and several other congressional leaders, according to a person briefed in detail on the interaction. ‘I plan on winning this race. If I don’t win, then anything we say now doesn’t matter. I plan on winning this race. So let’s figure out how to win this race.’”

These are stunning claims that demonstrate a President willing to sacrifice the good of his own country, the good of the military men and women that he leads, for the good of his own political aspirations.

And now, Jake Tapper of ABC has another stunning followup to the story.  

White House officials today acknowledged that they had not met the deadline to outline how the president would make the defense cuts required by law to be made because of the failure of the bipartisan, poorly-named Super-committee to agree on $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years.

Because of the failure of the Super-committee, a self-imposed sword of Damocles will fall, requiring $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that neither Democrats nor Republicans desire, specifically $109 billion from Pentagon and domestic spending in just the next year.

In the fine Washington tradition of never giving anything a name that makes sense to anyone outside the 202 area code, these cuts are called the “sequester.”

Cuts to military and defense spending to the tune of $1.2 trillion, AND the administration broke the law?  Are you outraged yet?

Tapper outlines just how devastating this series of events is:

These cuts are set to take effect on January 1, coinciding with the expiration of $4 trillion in lower tax rates enacted into law by President Bush and extended by President Obama. Combined with the expiration of a payroll tax cut, the whole shebang – assuming no compromise is reached to delay the massive tax increases and spending cuts – is referred to as the “Fiscal Cliff.”

Weren’t Democrats trying to convince us last night that this President drives the car forward, while Republicans go in reverse?  That might actually be a truthful statement – the Obama administration is trying to drive the economy off a cliff, and Mitt Romney is trying to backpedal away from it.

In a statement, Sen. John Thune, R-SD, author of the bill said that “Americans of all stripes are required to play by the rules and follow the laws of the land. Unfortunately, by disregarding the sequestration reporting deadline, the Obama Administration seems to think it is above the law. The American people deserve to know the president’s plan for implementing these cuts, some of which our military leaders have said will compromise our nation’s ability to protect itself. Every day that the administration delays being transparent with the American people on the sequester moves us one day closer to going over the fiscal cliff.”

Mitt Romney added the following statement:

“A year ago, Barack Obama set in motion the sequestration process that is leading to imminent disastrous cuts in our military might. The President is required by law to tell the American people how he would implement these cuts. But he has chosen to ignore the deadline for doing so. The American people have had enough of evasion and enough of finger pointing. They just want answers. Secretary of Defense Panetta has said these cuts will be devastating to our national security and our economy. It’s time the President stops stonewalling, stops dismantling our military, and starts providing answers.”

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Report: Obama Sacrificed the American Economy and Defense For a Better Chance at Reelection

August 20, 2012 at 11:58 am (2012 Election, Defense, e-Book, Economy, Gleen Thrush, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Politico, President Obama, Sequestration)

Glenn Thrush, writer for the Politico, has recently produced an e-book on the Obama campaign, and it’s causing quite a stir.  While many are focusing on the many conflicts the campaign is suffering this year – an issue with which they did not contend with as much in 2008 – there is another damning aspect of the book being vastly under-reported.

Essentially, the President was willing to place his reelection bid above the needs of our economy and our national defense.

Excerpts from the book claim that Obama rebuffed pleas from Nancy Pelosi of all people, to reconsider the sequestered defense cuts because doing so would make reelection more difficult.

Here are a couple of quotes from Thrush’s work that stand out:

“In mid-2012, the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, requested a sit-down to ask Obama to reconsider the billions of defense cuts that would kick in automatically as part of the 2011 budget deal. The cuts included in ‘the sequester,’ she argued, would hurt Democratic House members with major defense contractors in their districts. They were asking for an alternative state of cuts, or any kind of plan that would keep local employers – and, by implication, local contributors – happy.” 

And…

“Obama told the former speaker what he had been saying for months – that he wasn’t budging on the defense cuts. Doing so would surrender his only leverage in forcing House Republicans to accept the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy – the only weapon he had against their efforts ‘to delegitimize me,’ as he put it. Moreover, he bluntly called on Hill Democrats to reorient their priorities – from them to him. ‘Look, guys,’ he told Pelosi, Harry Reid, and several other congressional leaders, according to a person briefed in detail on the interaction. ‘I plan on winning this race. If I don’t win, then anything we say now doesn’t matter. I plan on winning this race. So let’s figure out how to win this race.’”

These are stunning claims that demonstrate a President willing to sacrifice the good of his own country, the good of the military men and women that he leads, for the good of his own political aspirations.

Please read the rest of the report…

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