By Erik Wasson - 12/03/13 11:42 AM EST
House defense hawks unveil sequester replacement budget plan
A pair of House conservatives on the Armed Service Committee on Tuesday are introducing their own budget legislation aimed at turning off two years of defense cuts and replacing them with cuts to entitlements like Social Security.
The bill comes as a House-Senate budget conference attempts to forge a smaller deal turning off only some of the $54 billion in annual defense sequester cuts, by a Dec. 13 deadline.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) want $307 billion in cuts to offset $108 billion in defense cuts in 2014 and 2015. Their plan would reduce the deficit by $200 billion below the current law baseline.
Most of the cuts presented come directly from President Obama’s own budget proposals, although the president made them in the context of seeking tax increases on the wealthy and corporations as well.
“President Obama is hollowing out our military, emboldening our enemies to be even more aggressive, and encouraging our friends to align with the East. This bill strengthens defense, reforms entitlements, and reduces the national deficit by $200 billion,” Bridenstine said in a release.
The new bill pockets $60 billion from Medicare by increasing Part B and D premiums as called for in the Obama budget. It gets $216 billion by applying chained consumer price index calculations to Social Security and federal retirement benefits, also called for in Obama’s budget.
It also increases Federal Employee Retirement System contributions for existing employees by 1.2 percentage points, as Obama sought. That change can be seen as new revenue.
The bill would also get $11.7 billion from agriculture subsidy cuts by making changes to crop insurance.