By Jeremy Herb
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) introduced legislation Wednesday to undo the automatic defense cuts.
McKeon’s announcement comes on the heels of a group of four senators led by Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) declaring they will offer legislation early next year that would reverse the defense cuts through sequestration.
McKeon, McCain and other defense hawks in Congress have vowed to stop the sequestration trigger, which would prompt $500 billion in defense cuts in January 2013, since the supercommittee failed last month.
McKeon’s plan, which he’s discussing at a press conference Thursday, proposes a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce through attrition, which he says would pay for the first year of sequestration cuts for both defense and non-defense spending.
While many people have predicted that the sequestration cuts won’t be dealt with until after the 2012 election, McKeon has said it has to be taken care of sooner because of the way the Pentagon budgets.
“The coming political year is likely to be marked with gamesmanship and brinksmanship. My bill gives Congress a shot at statesmanship. Over half of the deficit reduction efforts to date have come out of the military,” McKeon said in a statement. ““The troops simply don’t have any more to give.”