Larsen Calls Out Republicans For Defense Budget Chicanery

Jun 11, 2015 Issues: Budget,

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today called on Congress to address the harmful effects of across-the-board spending caps in a responsible way. Larsen voted against the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Department Appropriations bill (H.R.2685), which circumvents sequester spending caps for the military by transferring $38 billion in base spending to a war funding account that is not subject to the caps.

“The budgeting chicanery in this bill does not serve the long-term needs of our military or our national interest. Adding $38 billion in regular defense spending to the war funding account gives the Defense Department a temporary free pass while continuing with harmful cuts to other national priorities like infrastructure and education.

“We should address the harmful effects of sequester across all of our national priorities, rather than using tricks to protect just one part of the budget. 

“I agree with Defense Secretary Carter that this gimmick harms the military because it does not provide a stable base for long-term budgeting. It also fails to acknowledge that a well-educated workforce, scientific research and a healthy economy are also critical to national security,” Larsen said.

Larsen previously voted for the annual defense policy bill, the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act, but in doing so called on Republicans to address sequester spending caps.