Frank, Paul Plan To Reduce The Deficit Through Military Spending Cuts

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Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) are enlisting members of Congress to press President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to propose “significant cuts to the military budget.”

Frank and Paul are seeking signatories to a letter to the fiscal commission, highlighting one trillion dollars in savings they can be achieved, through cuts and efficiencies, in the next 10 years.

“[W]e write to urge in the strongest terms that any final Commission report include among its recommendations substantial reductions in projected levels of future spending by the Department of Defense,” the letter reads.The main avenue for those savings, they say, include scaling back Cold War era policies and programs, and eradicating waste in research and contracting

A recent TPM report noted efforts on behalf of some members of the commission to achieve savings by, among other things, slashing benefits to service members and veterans. In a statement today, Frank made clear he opposes such cuts.

“I do want to make clear that the one point in which I and my colleagues differ with the Task Force — the proposal for reducing healthcare benefits for veterans, especially with the consequences of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am very proud that the Congress in the last few years has increased veterans health benefits.”

A spokesman for Frank says the letter currently has fewer than 10 cosigners, but that the incipient effort will begin in earnest with “aggressive member to member” outreach when Congress returns from August recess.

You can read both the Dear Colleague, and the letter to the commission here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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