Montana Politics

Jan 5, 2012 8:38 PM by Marnee Banks (Helena)

Baucus, Tester & Rehberg respond to defense cuts

On Thursday President Obama announced a plan to cut $450 billion from the U.S. Department of Defense. The cuts would take place over 10 years.

Obama says the United States will invest in intelligence, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

According to CBS News, the plan reduces the size of the Army and Marine Corps and invests in the Navy and Air Force. It also shifts the focus from ground operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to air support in the Pacific.

Congressman Denny Rehberg (R - Montana) says he needs to take a look at the specifics of the proposal but he is opposed to automatic spending cuts and ideas like the START Treaty.

"No budget should be off limits in terms of making sure taxpayers get value for their hard-earned tax dollars. That said, our national defense is too important for political games," Rehberg says.

Senators Max Baucus ( D - Montana) and Jon Tester (D - Montana) are asking the Department of Defense to refrain from cutting Malmstrom's missile fleet. They say any cuts to the ICBM fleet would not deliver significant budgetary savings.

"My responsibility is to strengthen our national security. That means building on my record of supporting our troops and veterans and standing up for Malmstrom and the Montana Air National Guard," Tester says.

"Our troops and their families are stretched thin by a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we continue to spend $10 billion each month. The President's plan makes it even more urgent to bring our troops home," Baucus says.

The President did not release the specifics of his plan, including whether or not cuts to the ICBM fleet are scheduled.

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