Questions for Martha McSally: GOP budget sequestration, debt ceiling, and default

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

An interesting juxtaposition of reporting in the Arizona media today: the Arizona Republic published a profile piece on Congressman Ron Barber (D-AZ 2), who does not represent the Maricopa County area, Rep.
Barber puts focus on women’s issues
, but the Arizona Daily Star published a guest opinion by Rep. Barber's 2012 GOP opponent — and anticipated 2014 opponent — Martha McSally, who decries the effects of the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DMAFB). Martha
McSally: Wake Up and Unite To Save A-10 and Davis-Monthan
.

This is an interesting tack for McSally to take. House GOP leaders have recently
been trying to talk their caucus members into claiming
victory
on the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts and abandoning their effort to defund
the Affordable Care Act aka "ObamaCare." Former Bush administration hack Marc Thiessen writes at the Washington Post today, How Republicans reversed the runaway spending train:

[T]the tea party revolution of 2010 put the brakes on the spending
train. The GOP takeover of the House, and the influx of fiscal hawks,
killed any chance of a new stimulus and gave rise to the Budget Control
Act in exchange for a debt-limit increase. House Republicans were able
to use the threat of default to force a reluctant Obama to cut spending
instead of increasing it.

Because of this oppositional dynamic,
the cuts have been done badly. The Budget Control Act used a blunt
instrument — sequestration — to mandate automatic across-the-board
spending cuts if political leaders could not agree on targeted
reductions (which they could not).
The result: Sequestration left fat,
while cutting muscle. It slashed defense spending and harmed national
security.
Moreover, the spending cuts have come almost exclusively from
the discretionary side of the ledger, when it is mandatory programs such
as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that account for the vast
majority of out-of-control federal spending.

Still, the Budget Control Act worked . . .  the GOP’s one government-reducing achievement is the Budget Control Act.

* * *

The president wants to renegotiate the act by wrapping a deal over
next year’s spending levels into the broader debt-limit talks.
Republicans should not take the bait. Thanks to the Budget Control Act,
spending reductions for the next fiscal year are already set in law. The
only thing to negotiate is how to make the cuts.

If Obama and
Congress don’t meet the act’s caps, a second round of automatic
across-the-board cuts will kick in
. We will see close to $1.3 trillion
in discretionary savings over the next eight years, compared with the
baseline before the act’s passage. The default under current law is to
cut spending, which means Republicans hold all the cards. All GOP
leaders need to do is prevent Obama from watering down the act.

* * *

Why on earth would Republicans agree to renegotiate spending cuts they
already won in exchange for one debt-limit increase as part of a deal
for another debt-limit increase?

* * *

Republicans should tell the president . . . they are not willing to renegotiate their victory on the Budget Control Act.

So the House GOP is all-in on maintaining its one legislative "victory," the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts, that Martha McSally decries in her guest opinion today. While McSally focuses small bore on preserving Pentagon funding for the A-10 "warthogs" at DMAFB, she carefully avoids taking a position on the broader issue that is at the heart of the A-10 mission at DMAFB falling victim to budget cuts — the ham-handed GOP budget sequestration.

McSally has not taken a public stance directly on the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts (the Budget Control Act). As a former A-10 pilot, she clearly favors an exception to the GOP sequestration budget cuts when it involves a personal stake for her in preserving Pentagon funding for the A-10 mission at DMAFB.

In this continuing series, "Questions for Martha McSally," we pose questions to
the McSally campaign about her positions on current hot topics — I am
not going to give her a free pass until after the primary election is
over like our local media did in 2012.

What is McSally's position on the GOP sequestration budget cuts (the Budget Control Act)? Had she been in Congress, would she have voted for the Budget Control Act? Does she consider the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts a "victory" for the GOP? If she was in Congress now, would she vote to continue the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts?

What is McSally's position on using
the debt ceiling
, as opposed to a government shutdown, as leverage against the White House over "defunding ObamaCare" in the federal budget when Congress returns in September? U.S.
faces mid-October deadline to raise nation’s $16.7T debt limit
. If Congress does not act on the deby ceiling, there may not be enough cash to pay for Social Security checks or military salaries — does McSally support the current House GOP negotiating position? Does McSally support taking the country hostage and theatening a global economic crisis in order to extort concessions from Democrats on the budget? Does she believe this is an appropriate way for government to function?

Does McSally know that the debt ceiling is about Congress agreeing to pay for the debts that it has already incurred, not a new borrowing limit? Does she know that the U.S. Constitution prohibits the U.S. from defaulting on its debts, and that is why the U.S. has never defaulted on its debts?

Does McSally still stand by the positions she took in 2012?

Screenshot from 2013-08-27 09:43:10Screenshot from 2013-08-27 09:44:48

Does McSally understand that a balanced budget amendment would be far more devastating than the automatic GOP sequestration budget cuts that she objects to with respect to the A-10 mission at DMAFB?

If the Department of Defense has determined that its "efficiencies" no longer require the A-10 mission at DMAFB, isn't McSally simply disagreeing with the Pentagon assessment — perhaps because she is a former A-10 pilot — and arguing for federal spending to continue on a program that the Pentagon has determined no longer meets its needs? Would this not be considered wasteful federal spending?

Voters in Congressional District 2 have the right to know your positions
on current hot topics, Ms. McSally. Feel free to answer this inquiry by
posting a comment. More questions to follow.

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