By Russell Berman - 09/11/12 03:14 PM EDT
House Republican leaders on Tuesday used the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to push Democrats and the Obama administration to take action against looming cuts to the military.
“We honor those who fell 11 years ago today. We honor those who fought to try to save some of those who died,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a press conference following a closed-door conference meeting. “The best thing that we can do as a people to honor those individuals is to make sure that it never happens again, and we have looming massive defense cuts that this House has acted to substitute.”
Cantor noted comments by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who said Tuesday that the Pentagon had not begun to prepare for cuts scheduled to take effect in 2013 as part of the Budget Control Act.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also paid tribute to the victims of Sept. 11 and said that in the spirit of the day, “we need to come together on sequestration.”
The Republicans spoke shortly before attending a bipartisan congressional ceremony to honor the fallen of 9/11, but their willingness to criticize Democrats on the anniversary of the national tragedy underscored that 11 years on, the tradition of breaking from politics on 9/11 has frayed.