Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted segments of his own party for agreeing to a debt ceiling deal that puts the defense budget at significant risk, and said he would push for changes to the agreement, at a defense forum in Washington today.
Graham called the deal, which includes a trigger that would slash the defense budget by up to $600 billion if the super committee doesn’t agree to $1.4 trillion in deficit reductions, “a philosophical shift of the Reagan party that we have to push back against.”
He said he will try to get the trigger replaced with an across-the-board reduction and proposed a 10 percent pay cut for members of Congress.
“What I’m going to do, is try to replace the triggers to Medicare and defense cuts if the super committee doesn’t do their job in finding $1.4 trillion…with an across-the-board cut, let everybody pay a little bit more if we can’t get our act together in Washington,” said Graham. “And how about this idea: A 10 percent pay cut for Congress. So let’s think big, and let’s get the party of Ronald Reagan back to acting like the part of Ronald Reagan.”
Graham’s recommendations are great for those who are concerned about defense (and who isn’t worried about the defense budget getting gutted by a $600 billion cut?). But the problem is, does he have any chance at getting them implemented? It’s hard to believe many Republicans have an appetite for renegotiating or tweaking the debt ceiling deal, especially after the nightmare of getting it passed in the first place.