Senator: ISIS threat could break deadlock on defense cuts

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway MORE (D-Fla.) on Thursday said the battle against Islamist militants could spur lawmakers to finally reverse the spending cuts to the Pentagon under sequestration.

“I think that these circumstances have so revolted the ordinary citizen in this country, it will help” break the gridlock, he said.

If left in place, the sequester could impose up to $1 trillion in cuts to the Pentagon over the next decade.

Lawmakers have failed repeatedly to reach a deal on stopping the automatic budget cuts despite warnings from the Pentagon about the toll the cuts are taking on the military.

Nelson said Obama’s move to launch a prolonged campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) could help Congress come together on a solution.

“When America has a visible enemy, America usually unites,” according to Nelson, adding that a bipartisan vote to overturn sequestration would show “the unity of America, not only to our allies, but to our enemies.”