Rep. Randy Forbes Presses Ashton Carter on Sequestration Stance

Virginia congressman asks the defense secretary whether he's prepared to risk national defense interests in order to end sequestration across all government agencies.
4:50 | 03/18/15

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Transcript for Rep. Randy Forbes Presses Ashton Carter on Sequestration Stance
On the secretary we thank you for being here today and it was my full attention to come in here and applaud you and talk about how talented you work which I believe that beating case and Ross were difficult job. You haven't to larger opening remarks and let me just asked this question because you heard chairman storm Barry mentioned the phrase. That if we get the any thing below that the president's budget. That we would go below the lower ragged edge of what we need for Nash sensed you agree with that I do. And would you air force if we're going one below that will lower ragged edge that it would be a crisis panache and sensibly went to sequestration. As opposed to the budget that is where's that. Yeah so that will be yes. Would you also say that that would be devastating to defense if we went there in the student then help me with this because what really took me back his wing you said that she supported the president's position to veto any bill. That didn't do away with sequestration because you do understand that the president's position. Is that he would veto any bill that doesn't do away with sequestration not just for national defense but also for everything else. Is it do you understand that's the president's position I do so then what you're telling me is the secretary of defense you would be prepared. To support a Vito that would end up with a crisis the national defense. And be devastating to national defense must the president can also get. All the funding he needs for EPA RS and all the other non defense items that he's proposed in the budget is that your position what we need for defense. Congressman Ford he is two things. We need stability. And ipads out my question I don't mean to catch up but his chance and only have five minutes. I just need to look to to have you tell this committee that is the secretary of defense you're coming here and here today and saying. That unless the president gets a full sequestration. A taking off the limits of spending that he has on EPA IRS and other non defense matters. You would rather have a crisis when it comes to national defense funding. Now that's not been would you support a bill that this committee would pass that would do away with sequestration for national defense only. Now the president no I would not having knowingly lie or would you or I we need relief from sequestration. Across the board every other manager of an agency in the in the government statement sector and are not manager Al these other agencies you're coming here today telling us. That you would be prepared to accept a crisis for national defense. Unless the president gets the funding he needs for EPA or the Internal Revenue Service are all these other program has across the country now IA no congressman I take a view of national defense and national security. That is that. It takes into account the fact that to protect ourselves and as part of security. We need. The Department of Homeland Security I am not saying that but I'm saying you don't necessarily need the internal ram Gardner law enforcement. Agencies I think each of those budgets can be looked at in the room and a sector you are the expert on defects. And what we need is that testimony today and what bothers me. Is when you'll come in here and say that you'd rather have a crisis and national defense which is what the president signed. Then too. Cut or had a cap on any non defense spending. That could be in anywhere else in the government and I just I'm that a traps in let me just say this I know I think what the president saying congressman which I agree with is that we need relief from sequester. Across the board it's no later wrote majority expert on depart in government and we may. Argue on IRS or EPA but what we need is when you're coming your sector defense to tell us that you're not willing to accept a crisis. In national defense if you can't get everything you want with the IRS or EPA some these other funding programs. And just have to put it on the line when you talk about the flexibility. That you need department fenced let's just reckon has also. But sometimes congress has the hole that flexibility if we given it to. The Pentagon and eighties we would have stealth platforms we would have precision munitions we probably would have joint in his. And also sometimes we talk about these outside cuts to facilities remember what we did to the Joint Forces Command. A we cut that dance that we're gonna save all the money always does take all those jobs and centralize and in the Pentagon and in the joint staff. Armed so so we need to make sure war. Missed secretary and and I just say this would all due respect. That we're dealing with crisis we have in national defense that's what this committee should be about that's what the Pentagon should be about. And we shouldn't have to a hinge all of that on what happens to the Internal Revenue Service or the EPA with m.'s chairman I yield back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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