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AZ's US Senators Looking to Avoid Pentagon Cuts

Arizona’s Republican US Senators are sponsoring legislation to protect the Pentagon from deep budget cuts. 

 If Congress does nothing the Pentagon will see its budget slashed by hundreds of billions of dollars next January. The pending cuts are the result of the failure of the so-called congressional super committee to find more than a trillion dollars in budget cuts. Such a steep budget reduction could be devastating to Arizona’s defense industry. Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) legislation would stave off the cuts for a year by freezing federal salaries and slowly cutting only non-military federal jobs.

“This is a common sense proposal'" said McCain. "It is only of one year. We have rushed to this decision, because the Pentagon must begin planning now for what they are going to do next year.”

Democrats are calling on Republicans to raise tax increases on the wealthiest Americans instead of protecting their party’s sacred cows. Pentagon officials are asking to create another commission to relocate and close military bases. McCain says he willing to explore the idea, though he says it may be premature.

 

Based on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is a freelance reporter who has been covering Congress, the White House and the Supreme Courtfor more than five years. While he has filed stories for more than 40 local NPR stations, his work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, National Public Radio, The Omaha World-Herald, Pacifica Radio, Politics