Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, have known about these reductions for quite some time. In fact, Republicans passed two National Defense Authorization Acts without including a single provision that stopped the reductions. I’m not surprised that now, only after the specifics have been released, Republicans have decided to cast misplaced blame on the Department of Defense. The reality is that Republicans in both the House and Senate cosigned these reductions. 

This builds upon a history of Republicans attempting to shift the blame for their own transgressions to the Administration and the Department of Defense. It’s disingenuous and does not comport with reality. History lesson: sequestration and the Budget Control Act, which are responsible for slashing the defense budget, exist because the Republican Party held our economy hostage and threatened to default on our loans. That is why we are here today. That is why, if sequestration is not removed, the Army will face another reduction of 30,000 troops. And that is one of the reasons why the President has said he will veto the Republicans’ appropriations bills.

I offer my Republican colleagues this piece of advice: come to the table and work with Democrats to strike a comprehensive long-term budget agreement that would remove sequestration and put the Federal Government on sound fiscal footing. Our troops and the America people deserve it.