Central Texas Congressmen Blast Obama Over Automatic Budget Cuts

By: Rachel Cox Email
By: Rachel Cox Email

FORT HOOD (March 1, 2013) --- The massive spending cuts set to kick in Friday night will mean a $291 million hit to Fort Hood, according to the two congressmen whose districts include the sprawling post.

U.S. Reps. John Carter, R-Round Rock and Roger Williams, R-Weatherford, were on post Friday to answer questions about the cuts.

In a letter Friday to Gov. Rick Perry, however, the Department of Defense said the cuts would mean a loss of $233 million in funding for Army operations in Texas including cuts at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston and a loss of as much as $1.4 billion for Army weapons depot operations in Red River and Corpus Christi.

The Air Force could lose $92 million, with cuts at facilities in San Antonio's Lackland and Randolph bases, as well as Sheppard Air Force Base near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The cuts would total an estimated $1.725 billion total by Sept. 30.

Carter, chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and co-chair of the House Army Caucus, said he's working with others to get an appropriations package passed that could allow military cuts to be moved around to different areas and not just across the board.

"We are going to do something that's never been done before we're going to have a continuing resolution for the rest of the country but for our military and our veterans we're going to actually pass an appropriations bill where the military and any programmer can move money from one program to another as long as they get the authority from congress," Carter said.

Carter criticized President Barack Obama for his lack of leadership as the deadline for the cuts loomed.

“He simply passed the buck onto Congress, never taking responsibility for the hype and panic caused by his lack of leadership. In absence of his direction, the House of Representatives stepped up to the plate, offering up two replacement bills that could have either helped with the effects of sequestration or prevented it altogether,” he said.

Immediate cuts at Fort Hood will target airfield operations, fire, emergency and family services.

There are about 6,000 civilian workers at Fort Hood who could lose their jobs or be furloughed without pay.

Carter said Friday he wanted to give military leaders a way to not cut program funding in more important areas.

"I want our soldiers not to miss training because of a cut in our training budget, they can't go to war without training and every soldier knows that," Carter said.

“The Obama sequester is bad for America, bad for our military, and bad for Fort Hood,” said Williams, a freshman congressman who’s member of the House Budget Committee.

“It is a shame that the president continues to spend taxpayer dollars like there is no limit, and then expect the military to foot the bill. There is no denying that the government spends too much, but these indiscriminate cuts are irresponsible and the wrong approach to fix our nation’s fiscal problems,” he said.

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