Lawmakers weigh in on proposed military budget cuts - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Lawmakers weigh in on proposed military budget cuts

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJRT) -

(03/04/14) - Could the US Military soon downsize to its smallest numbers since before World War II? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently proposed billions of dollars in military budget cuts that would decrease the current size of the military and take spending from forces weapons programs.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) does not support the idea. She says it would negatively affect the country and Michigan.

"Completely eliminating all of the A-10 squadrons in the inventory which includes a squadron, the 127th, the Michigan Red Devils, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base," she said.

She's not alone. Miller's Republican colleague, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa), also thinks the cuts would be devastating.

"I think it's very dangerous," he said. "I think it's irresponsible. And especially when we send our kids, they're in the uniform, they're the 1 percent that's protecting the other 99 percent of the American people, why would you ever do that to them?"

The proposed cuts would save the United States billions of dollars in spending, but would greatly reduce the current size of the military. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) says, at this point, cuts aren't necessarily a bad thing.

"For too long, we've been funding a defense department that no general has asked for, that no president has suggested we need," he said.

He says many threats to US safety have changed – and we need to put more focus on non-state terrorism and cyber threats.

"If what Secretary Hagel is proposing, and I presume this is the case, is to right-size the Defense department so that it's something we can afford, but is better positioned to deal with the real threats we currently face," Kildee said, "then I think it's a step in the right direction."

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) agrees there are areas in the defense budget where cuts can be made, but says it's important to find the right balance to lower the deficit, but keep the American people safe. She says there are just some areas of the defense budget that absolutely cannot be touched.

"We have not damaged military pay or retirement cost of living or military health care, we can't do that," said. "We have to take care of those who have defended this nation."

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