There is a small, but vociferous group of Congressmen among House Republicans who claim they are “fiscal conservatives” and even “true conservatives” but who support, and vote for, deep defense cuts and against robust funding for America’s defense. They include Ron Paul, Justin Amash (a Michigan clone of Paul), Raul Castro Labrador, John Duncan (TN), Tim Johnson (IL), Tim Huelskamp, Jeff Flake, Dana Rohrabacher, Mick Mulvaney, Walter Jones, and W. James Sensenbrenner.
They and their supporters deceptively claim that they support a strong defense – they just don’t want the DOD to be exempt from budget cuts and want it to be on the table; they claim they want to balance the budget, that this is their #1 goal, and that everything has to be cut for that goal to be achieved. They claim that Republicans can’t exempt defense from cuts because it would cause them to “lose their moral authority” on budgetary issues.
But their claims are lies. Read on, and I will prove to you that these guys (as well as some other House Republicans) are pseudo-conservatives and are actually liberals (or libertarians, if you will) who actively seek to whack defense as deeply as they can, to weaken it in any way possible, and thus to gut it.
As an example, I will use the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY2013 passed by the House yesterday and the attempted and passed amendments to it. Here are the budget roll calls.
Here are examples of the amendments they have voted for or against:
1) The First Quigley Amendment would have eliminated $998 mn in funding for one Burke class surface combatant (at a time when the Navy’s shipbuilding rate and warship fleet are already inadequate). The following Republicans voted for it: Amash, Benishek, Campbell, Dold, Duffy, John Duncan (TN), Flake, Griffith, Herrera Beutler, Huelskamp, Huizenga, Johnson (IL), Jones, Labrador, Lummis, McClintock, Paul, Petri, Ribble, Rohrabacher, Sensenbrenner, Tipton, Upton, and Walden. They voted to eliminate that warship together with the most strident liberals in the House (but even most Dems voted against it). RCV #474. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll474.xml)
2) The First Markey Amendment would’ve cut $75 mn for the Nation’s Ground Based Interceptor system, which protects the US and Canada (and ONLY these countries) against long range ballistic missile attacks from countries such as North Korea. This has nothing to do with foreign bases or defending foreign countries (other than Canada); this is solely about defending the US homeland. But Amash, Bachmann (yes, Michele Bachmann), John Duncan (TN), Chris Gibson, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Huizenga, Jones, Labrador, Mulvaney, Paul, Upton, and Walden voted for it – and thus voted to deny the US homeland adequate protection against ICBMs – thus proving they don’t want to defend even the US homeland and just seek to gut America’s defense. RCV #477. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll477.xml)
3) The Third Woolsey Amendment, like Woolsey’s previous two, would’ve arbitrarily cut total funding by $1.7 bn in FY2013. 14 Republicans voted for it: Amash, Benishek, Campbell, Duncan (TN), Johnson (IL), Jones, Labrador, McClintock, Miller (MI), Mulvaney, Paul, Rohrabacher, and Sensenbrenner. They, along with Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith, also voted for the previous two Woolsey Amendments. RCV #484. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll484.xml)
4) With 68,000 US troops still in harms’ way in Afghanistan, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a strident liberal, introduced the Second Lee Amendment, which would’ve arbitrarily cut funding for these troops (in the Overseas Deployment and Other Spending category) by $20.7 bn. The following 8 Republicans voted to defund the troops who are still in harms’ way: Amash, Benishek, Campbell, Duncan (TN), Johnson (IL), Jones, Paul, Rohrabacher. It should be noted that even the majority of Dems voted against this (as did Raul Castro Labrador). RCV #485. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll485.xml)
5) The Fourth Lee Amendment would’ve arbitrarily cut the overall level of funding in the bill by over $19 bn, exempting only military personnel and HC accounts (which means the cut would disproportionately target readiness and modernization, since only these accounts would be open to cuts under this Amendment; this would have had a disastrous effect on the military’s ability to protect America). 7 Republicans voted for it together with the most strident liberals in the House: Amash, Campbell, Duncan (TN), Johnson (IL), Jones, and Paul. Even Labrador voted against it, as did 325 other Congressmen. RCV #488. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll488.xml)
6) The Moran of Virginia Amendment, which passed, prohibits the DOD from entering into any contract with Russia’s state-owned arms export monopoly, Rosoboronoexport. Rep. Moran introduced it because the state-owned Russian company handles all of Russia’s weapon exports, including to odious regimes like Syria and Iran, and those who voted for it believe that it shouldn’t be rewarded with US taxpayers’ money for weapon sales to such regimes. It passed by a huge bipartisan margin (414-5). Guess who were the five dissenters? Adam Smith (a Dem from Washington) and Republicans Barton (TX), Hayworth, Long, and Paul. Why did they vote for it? Even fiscal-only-conservatives and libertarians should support it, because 1) it limits opportunities for the DOD to enter into contracts (i.e. to spend money); 2) it prohibits US funding for a foreign STATE-OWNED MONOPOLY; and 3) it ensures taxpayers’ money will not be used to reward a company that sales weapons to rogue regimes. Why did Paul vote against this Amendment, while voting to defund America’s own defense? Because he hates America more fanatically than Al-Qaeda does, plain and simple. RCV #490. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll490.xml)
7) The Turner of Ohio Amendment “Prohibits funds from being used to reduce the nuclear forces of the U.S. to implement the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study, modify the Secretary of Defense Guidance for Employment of Force, or the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. This has no effect on New START.”
In other words, the amendment prohibits Obama from cutting the US nuclear arsenal unilaterally, without a treaty being concluded with Russia and ratified by the Senate. It ensures that America’s nuclear deterrent cannot be cut unilaterally. Amash, Campbell, Gibson, Jones, Labrador, Paul, Price (GA), and Roskam voted against this amendment, i.e they voted to allow Obama to cut the nuclear deterrent as deeply as he wishes to, according to his whims (Obama plans to cut the deployed arsenal unilaterally to just 1,000 warheads), and even to disarm the US unilaterally if he wants to. They also voted to allow taxpayers’ money to be spent on this. RCV #491. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll491.xml)
8) Similarly, Rep. Rick Berg of ND introduced an Amendment barring the President from unilaterally cutting America’s fleet of nuclear delivery systems: SSBNs, ICBMs, heavy bombers, and cruise missiles. These are the systems which, in the event of a nuclear attack on America, would deliver the warheads to the enemy. Bombers also serve in a conventional strike role. Rep. Berg’s amendment would prohibit Obama from scrapping them unilaterally. 16 Republicans voted against it (i.e. to allow Obama to cut them unilaterally): Amash, Bilbray, Brooks, Buchanan, Campbell, Dent, Duncan (TN), Fortenberry, Gibson, Jones, Labrador, Paul, Renacci, Rohrabacher, Thompson (PA), and Woodall. RCV #493. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll493.xml)
9) The Garamendi Amendment would cut “Title IX – Overseas Deployment and Other Activities to $12.6 billion. Exempts Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, Defense Health Program, Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities – Defense, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund, and Office for the Inspector General from any reductions in funding.” This would be a deep, arbitrary cut in funding for the 100,000 troops still in harms’ way, with only a few exceptions. Eight Republicans voted for it: Amash, Benishek, Duncan (TN), Johnson (IL), Jones, Paul, Petri, and Rokita. RCV #494. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll494.xml)
10) And while they incessantly whine about “waste” in the defense budget and about the supposed need to “right-size” and cut it, they all voted against the modest TRICARE premium increases and health program reforms proposed by Secretary Panetta, as did all other Republicans and all but 17 Democrats. Those who voted to prohibit such reforms include Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who repeatedly introduced amendments to deeply cut the defense budget, calls it “bloated” (even though it amounts to just 4.4% of GDP), and says that it “needs to be addressed” if Congress is serious about the budget deficit, but she absolutely opposes reforms of the DOD’s personnel and HC programs and savings in them. So, does Rep. Lee want these costs to be addressed or not? RCV #497. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll497.xml)
In short, these strident anti-defense liberals who are masquerading as fiscal conservatives are have voted to arbitrarily and deeply cut funding for the military, including for the 100,000 American troops who are still in harms way; deeply cut the US nuclear arsenal and arsenal of delivery systems; allow Obama to do the same unilaterally by his whim (and to spend money on doing so); to subsidize a Russian state-owned company that sells weapons to odious regimes; and to cut the missile defense system that protects the homeland.
They are not “conservatives”. They are not even “fiscal conservatives”. They are strident anti-defense liberals, just like the overt Democrats they vote so often with (against Republicans). They must be exposed for whom they really are, shamed, and thrown out of the Republican Party. They deserve absolute contempt and disrespect. They should be ostracized and shunned like lepers.