Skip to comments.Obama (blame game) camp: Ryan budget would have cut embassy security
Posted on 10/07/2012 4:03:46 PM PDT by Libloather
Obama camp: Ryan budget would have cut embassy security
By Julian Pecquet - 10/07/12 05:09 PM ET
Democrats are hitting Mitt Romney over the House GOP budget's potential cuts to embassy security as the Republican candidate and his allies on Capitol Hill seek to make inadequate protection in Libya a campaign issue.
Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), put forward a budget blueprint this year that would have cut non-defense discretionary spending by 19 percent by 2014. While the blueprint doesn't specify cuts to embassy security, applying that figure across-the-board would yield a $300 million reduction in State Department funding for the protection, construction and maintenance of U.S. embassies around the world.
"The president certainly doesnt need lectures on securing our facilities overseas from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, whove proposed slashing funding for our diplomatic and embassy security by $298 million dollars" just in 2014 alone, an Obama campaign official told The Hill.
"The cuts to embassy security in the Romney-Ryan budget would amount to $170 million more than even under sequestration. Gov. Romney talks a lot about projecting American power overseas, but its unclear how he would do that under the budget hes endorsed that cuts funding for critical State Department programs and security, the official added.
Back in March, Jeffrey Zients, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that since the House refused to specify what would be cut, we consider the impacts if the cuts are distributed equally across the board.
The Romney campaign counters that since the Ryan budget didn't specifically recommend cuts to embassy security, it's unfair to draw the conclusion that Republicans would have slashed funding. The campaign says there was no reference made to cutting embassy security because there were no assumed cuts to embassy security.
"The only candidate who has proposed cuts to our embassy security is President Obama," said a Romney campaign official, in reference to the president signing sequestration into law.
But the Ryan budget doesn't exempt embassy security from cuts, either.
The Obama campaign official said House Republicans have left a $900 billion gap in terms of where their cuts would come from over the next decade. Republicans have a responsibility to spell that out, the official said, and until they do Democrats will operate under the assumption that they will be applied across the board.
Romney has in the past endorsed Ryan's budget while seeking to portray himself as a champion of American power abroad. The Republican candidate has said he's very supportive of Ryan's budget blueprint and said earlier this year that it would be marvelous if the Democratic-controlled Senate passed it, which didn't happen.
But since picking the House Budget Committee chairman as his running mate, his campaign has insisted the GOP ticket will run on Romneys budget proposals and not necessarily Ryans.
Romney has made the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month a centerpiece of his attacks on the Obama administrations foreign policy. Romney and congressional Republicans have questioned whether the compound received adequate security that could have prevented the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans there.
Romney is expected to attack Obama on Libya during a foreign policy speech Monday while images of the burning Benghazi consulate are still fresh on voters' mind. And House Oversight panel chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is holding a hearing on embassy protection Wednesday morning after several whistleblowers complained that the State Department rejected requests for beefed up security.
Among the politically charged evidence already made public ahead of the hearing is a State Department email from May 2012 rejecting the continued use of a DC-3 airplane by Special Forces troops assigned to protect embassy staff in Libya; they were told to use Libyan flights instead to get around the country after commercial flights were reestablished. It's not clear that providing the plane would have made any difference, especially since the security detail left the country in August.
Democrats counter that those kinds of hard choices would only be tougher under Ryan's budget, which Issa himself supported along with all but 10 House Republicans.
Throughout the campaign, Romney has sought to pin the blame on Obama for deep defense spending cuts that are slated to take effect next year if lawmakers fail to find other ways to cut the deficit.
Democrats hope to undermine that hawkish image by raising doubts about his running mates budget proposal.
Under so-called sequestration, which Ryan and many other Republicans voted for, funding for diplomatic and consular programs would be cut by about $1 billion next year, according to a Sept. 14 analysis by the White House budget office. That includes a $129 million cut to the Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance budget category and another $2 million cut to the Protection of Foreign Missions and Officials category, for a total of $131 million. The figure is expected to be roughly the same for 2014, because the sequestration cuts remain at roughly the same level throughout the decade.
Ryan, by contrast, phases in the cuts. His budget called for a 19 percent across-the-board cut to non-defense discretionary spending in 2014, according to Zients, much deeper than the 8.2 percent cut under sequestration. Assuming an across-the-board distribution of the cuts, his proposal would have slashed the first category by $298 million and the second by $5 million, for a total of $303 million $172 million than the cut under sequestration.
Security team pulled out of Libya in August
The blundering boobs at the State Department recalled a 16-man security team in August just as the Libyan diplomats were asking for more security, not less.
CBS News has learned that congressional investigators have issued a subpoena to a former top security official at the US mission in Libya. The official is Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Utah National Guard Army Green Beret who headed up a Special Forces “Site Security Team” in Libya.
The subpoena compels Lt. Col. Wood to appear at a House Oversight Committee hearing next week that will examine security decisions leading up to the Sept. 11 Muslim extremist terror assault on the U.S. compound at Benghazi. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed in the attack.
Lt. Col. Wood has told CBS News and congressional investigators that his 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite force called a Mobile Security Deployment team left Libya in August, just one month before the Benghazi assault. Wood says that’s despite the fact that US officials in Libya wanted security increased, not decreased.
.....and if the Queen “would have” had testicles, she’d be King.
Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton’s efforts to cover the details behind this attack even though inept, have been mindblowing.
Does anyone really believe that news reporters could trample over the scene mere days after the attack but that investigators couldn’t possibly reach the scene for weeks? Any evidence would have been compromised(or taken away) in that length of time. I think that must have been Hilary and Obama’s desperate plan.
Wouldn’t it be a death knell for both of them and the Administration if it was discovered that the heavy weaponry used in the attack had been secretly provided to the “rebels”(akaThe Muslim Brotherhood) to overthrow Qadaffi without the knowledge of Congress or the American people? Our Dear Leader has shown that he has a penchant for doing things on his own, has he not?
What’s that? If the Obama camp wants to act as if something won’t get done without money set aside for it, hows come that didn’t stop them from laying out $165M for the Illinois prison, which is completely unfunded?
Zero would give GITMO prisoners new digs and a place to meet with their relatives and MB bruthas, sooner than they would protect a threatened US Ambassador begging for more security! (That should play better in Peoria!)
Taking responsibility is way over their heads and their response shows how completely incompetent this administration is. They really need to pack it up and go.
And This is Mr. Nobel peace prize ..hahaha...now that shows us how warped this whole thing about him really is.
Forgot the $ 2 Billion in Foreign Aid to Pakistan and released them of any obligations to farther the war on terrorism..
Exactly - trying to replace an atrocity by the Admin with a "coulda" by the worst nightmare to the Dims in a long time...
They continue to spout the stoooopid and that will work to our advantage, especially if Zero tries it during a
debate schooling session.