A House proposal aims to hand the Pentagon much-needed fiscal flexibility to cope with massive budget reductions under the White House's sequestration plan.
"We need to give DOD the flexibility to manage these cuts in a responsible way. Our troops shouldn’t pay the price for Washington’s failure to budget responsibly," Paul said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The bill, according to Cooper, will remove the "straitjacket" from Department of Defense (DOD) number crunchers so it can deal with the cuts under sequestration with as little damage to U.S. national security as possible.
“It's one thing for the Pentagon to go on a diet,” Cooper said in a statement issued Thursday. “It’s another for the Pentagon to wear a straitjacket while dieting."
The Obama administration's current sequestration plan calls for those cuts to be applied across the board throughout the Pentagon over the next decade.
As a result, the Defense Department officials are eyeing severe cuts to the U.S. military's ranks.
One option being considered by Pentagon leaders is cutting the the Army to its smallest size since 2001.
“This strategic choice would result in a force that would be technologically dominant, but would be much smaller and able to go to fewer places and do fewer things,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in announcing the Pentagon's new sequestration strategy.
Under that strategy, the Army shrinks from 490,00 to between 380,000 and 450,000 troops, Hagel said Wednesday.
The Marine Corps would be slashed from 182,000 to between 150,00 to 175,000, and the number of aircraft carrier strike groups would be reduced from 11 to eight or nine.
To avoid these massive cuts, Hagel called on Congress to ensure the scenarios outlined in the Pentagon strategy do not come to pass.
“It is the responsibility of our nation’s leadership to work together to replace the mindless and irresponsible policy of sequestration,” he said.
However, House Defense panel member Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) told The Hill Thursday that the answer to the department's sequestration woes is not to "take all congressional controls off" how the Pentagon spends its funds.
That kind of "band-aid solution ... is not going to solve the big gaping hole" in the Pentagon's future budgets, should sequestration continue into upcoming fiscal years.
The detrimental effects of sequestration on Defense is not "a faucet situation" where Congress and the Obama administration can turn the spigot on and off, according to Forbes.
Even though sequestration has been in effect for less than a year, "some of the damage [already] being done is irreparable," Forbes added.
— This story was updated at 3:16 p.m.