U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers favors $1.2 trillion in cuts but wants to "adjust" reductions to military

11/22/2011 06:29 PM

Congress will have to “very, very carefully” reconsider the deep cuts slated to take effect to the U.S. military as a result of the supercommittee’s failure, said U.S. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, a Somerset Republican.

The supercommittee’s six Republicans and six Democrats had been charged with cutting $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years. Their failure is supposed to trigger automatic spending cuts starting in 2013. And half of which would affect the Department of Defense.

Rogers said on Pure Politics Tuesday that congressional leaders have “not gotten into the conversation” yet about rolling back the requirement to have the military shoulder half of the cost-cutting burden.

“That’s got to be our first responsibility is to make sure the nation is safe. So we’ve got to look at how the sequester works. I’m in favor of the sequester — of cutting that spending. But I think we will need to look at how we can adjust it so it will not do terrible damage to our military capability,” he said after the 2:30 mark of the video.

“It’s going to be really tough, I think, to avoid doing terrible damage to the military unless we are able to direct the sequester so it misses the major elements of preparedness,” he added at 3:00.

Starting at the 4:00 mark of the video, find out what Rogers has to say about the financial future of what he calls the “entitlement programs” starting in 2013. Those programs include Medicare, Medicaid, federal employee pensions and health care, food stamps and veterans’ benefits.

Rogers said he didn’t think the supercommittee’s failure will roil the markets much over the coming weeks because it shouldn’t come as a surprise to most people.

“I doubt there will be much impact on the market. I think they had already anticipated that the committee would not do its chore,” Rogers said at 0:20 into the video.

Rogers said he was “pessimistic” from the beginning because he thought the Democratic appointments were too political. For instance, he cited Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, who is chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committees and one of the 12 members of the supercommittee.


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