GOP lawmaker plans ‘speak-up tour’ against defense cuts

At a defense event on Capitol Hill Thursday, Forbes said that military supporters, including retired generals and admirals, need to take matters into their own hands and go public to make the case why the cuts to the military puts U.S. national security at risk.

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“It’s amazing to me, the deafening silence,” Forbes said of the opposition to the cuts. “I keep listening and it’s quiet. Members of Congress, they’re just as guilty. Where’s the leadership stepping up to the plate and saying, ‘We’re not going here.’ ”

Forbes said he still wants to fight the 10-year $487 billion cut that was agreed to in the August debt-limit deal. Other Republicans, including House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), say they have accepted the current round of cuts and are now looking to stop the automatic sequestration cuts.

Forbes said the speaking tour is being organized through the House Armed Services Committee, and could begin as soon as March and that the tour, which would go across the country, was “an opportunity for us to change this debate.”

He said he plans Democrats to join, too, although he didn't have details yet about who was involved.