Armed Services chairman signals fight on defense cuts

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) signaled yesterday that he will resist the Obama administration's proposed spending cuts. Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week proposed a $78 billion reduction in military spending.

In a statement released yesterday, McKeon said he was briefed on the cuts by Gates, but that he is "not happy" with the proposal.

"These cuts are being made without any commitment to restore modest future growth, which is the only way to prevent deep reductions in force structure that will leave our military less capable and less ready to fight," McKeon said. "I remain committed to applying more fiscal responsibility and accountability to the Department of Defense, but I will not stand idly by and watch the White House gut defense when Americans are deployed in harm's way."

McKeon added that the meeting was the "first step in a longer process that now involves the U.S. Congress."