At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill urged Congress to work toward compromise to stave off the worst consequences of looming automatic defense cuts.
Republicans and Democrats agreed to the cuts last year.
“When we voted for this—and there were 28 Republican Senators who voted for this—we all knew that there would come a day of reckoning, that we would have to sit down and compromise,” said McCaskill.
“We will not avoid the consequences of these cuts for our military if we just draw lines in the sand … so sign me up for the compromise, for painful cuts, and some revenue.”
McCaskill reminded her colleagues that leading Republicans in both the Senate and House voted to pass the Budget Control Act—the legislation which included the threat of automatic spending cuts in order to force a compromise plan to address the national debt.
On March 1, if no action is taken by Congress, the Pentagon must start cutting $42.5 billion from its budget—a move that today’s panel said would have a harmful effect on military readiness and operations.
McCaskill is working with other senators to avoid automatic cuts in place of targeted budget cuts.