Marco Rubio Rips Into White House's 2015 Defense Budget

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 25, 2014 3:55 AM
Marco Rubio and Chuck Hagel

Marco Rubio and Chuck Hagel

The Obama administration started unveiling its 2015 defense budget on Monday and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is up in arms, insisting the cuts are too deep and are leaving America unprepared for military action.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with the media on Monday to highlight the 2015 budget which eliminates the A10 aircraft, a staple of the American military since the 1970s, and would reduce the Army to 440,000-450,000 soldiers, its lowest level since before World War II. Hagel’s proposal, which has the backing of the Joint Chiefs, meets the $496 billion defense cap included in the budget crafted by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and signed by President Barack Obama.

"This is a budget that recognizes the reality of the magnitude of our fiscal challenges, the dangerous world we live in, and the American military's unique and indispensable role in the security of this country and in today's volatile world," Hagel said on Monday. "There are difficult decisions ahead."

Hagel stressed that as America scales back involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nation’s defense budget needs have changed considerably.

"For the first time in 13 years we will be presenting a budget to the Congress of the United States that's not a war-footing budget," Hagel said on Monday.

Hagel also warned that, while no one in the armed services would get a pay cut, pay raises would be less common in the future.

“Total pay and benefits increased 40 percent faster than the private sector between 2001 and 2012 and, while that was the right thing to do at the time, we can’t continue at that rate over the long term,” Hagel said.

“We recognize that no one serving our nation in uniform is overpaid for what they do for our country,” Hagel continued. “But if we continue on the current course without making these modest adjustments now, the choices will only grow more difficult and painful down the road. We will inevitably have to either cut into compensation even more deeply and abruptly, or we will have to deprive our men and women of the training and equipment they need to succeed in battle. Either way, we would be breaking faith with our people and the president and I will not allow that to happen.”

Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and a possible Republican presidential contender in 2016, weighed in on the 2015 defense budget on Monday afternoon. Despite having been a Republican senator from Nebraska, Hagel did not win Rubio’s vote when he was up for confirmation in early 2013. During the confirmation process, Rubio was fiercely critical of Hagel.

“Every day, we are reminded that the world remains as dangerous as ever and that we need a modern military to protect the American people and U.S. interests abroad,” Rubio said on Monday. “It is vital that we maintain a strong U.S. military that serves as a capable deterrent, ensures freedom of the seas, and provides security for ourselves and our allies. We also need a military that is able to project force globally when crises emerge, sometimes at a moment’s notice. 

“I am concerned that the budget announced today will put all of these goals at risk,” Rubio continued. “Reducing the size of the Army to its lowest levels in 70 years does not accurately reflect the current security environment, in which the administration’s own officials have noted the threats facing our country are more diffused than ever. Cutting key Air Force and naval capabilities just as we are trying to increase our presence in the Pacific does not make strategic sense. I am concerned that we are on a path to repeat the mistakes we’ve made during past attempts to cash in on expected peace dividends that never materialized -- mistakes that caused our allies to question America’s staying power and encouraged our enemies to test us.

“We should always look for efficiencies in our military budget and ensure that any wasteful spending is cut or directed to vital programs,” Rubio said in conclusion. “But, the fact of the matter is that this administration has been cutting defense since it came into office and doing little to address our real fiscal challenges. Ultimately, we need to make sure that the real drivers of our debt are addressed. We need to save Medicare and Social Security to not only ensure future seniors can retire with dignity and a safety net, but also to make sure that we don’t sacrifice our security in order to deal with our debt. President Obama’s upcoming budget reflects his indifference to doing anything about a growing $17.3 trillion debt, as well as his naïve and misguided perception of just how dangerous the world is.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. 

Comments (19)

10:29PM MAR 3RD 2014
news with a FOX slant.....
about "Sunshine State News fills a void – and that is our principal reason for being. We are the only news organization in Florida with an editorial board that believes free-market, less-government solutions will prove successful in addressing the problems challenging our state?.
10:26PM MAR 3RD 2014
Rubio votes to cut Veterans benefits but wants billions for his defense contractors.
10:23PM MAR 3RD 2014
Chicken hawk Rubo is the fist to hide under his mommas skirt when bullets fly
Melvin Miller
8:10PM MAR 3RD 2014
For everyone on here who are claiming that our military will be weaker, you are just repeating Republican talking points. The opposition to a smaller military really only see dollars that they and their cronies cannot get their hands on. If you think Rubio cares about the soldiers, guess again. He votes with those who cut programs that help military families. At the end of the day it's all about the dollars (Haliburton). This from fiscal conservatives who care nothing about helping military families to just survive.
Melvin Miller
8:02PM MAR 3RD 2014
I think the public would be better served if Rubio just learned the art of legislating rather than posing as a military expert. Usually the Defense budget is swollen with kickback contracts to Republican cronies. These warmongerers should be concentrating on making like smoother for Veterans who have served this country as well as the active duty personnel still serving. Do they not know that too many of our military personnel are on food stamps while they cut SNAP programs? That is a disgusting stain on this Nation. This should not be, but since it is true, you would think these guys would at least pass legislation to help military personnel rather than cutting programs that affect them. At the end of the day, it's all about the biggest lobby (Haliburton, e.g.)
Alastair Edward
11:35AM FEB 26TH 2014
Actually the Whitehouse and DOD are asking for an increase. Of course for Senator Rubio facts are irrelavant if his puppet masters say so. Using a Disney metaphor. Maybe someday Marco will grow up and be a real man with no strings attached. .
Kay Dwinell
6:39AM FEB 26TH 2014
Stand strong Marco! Our country needs more men like you who are not afraid to tell it like it is! Obama is ruining our country with the help of many of the people who were elected to save, defend and protect it. Compromise, and political selfishness has only weakened and eroded our strength and moral values. The go along to get along theory has only brought devastation and destruction to our great country.
Obama is becoming more like a dictator every day, taking more and more of our freedoms from us. What is wrong with our senators and representatives? What are they thinking? Where is their courage and their will to fight for what is right? This President doesn't know how to tell the truth and is set on destroying our nation. Why is he being allowed to do this? What other foolishness is he going to be allowed to sign into law by executive decision and where is the balance of power in this,and why isn't it being enforced to stop the impeachable offenses he has already committed against our country?
We need you Marco. Thank you four service and your true patriotism. You are in our prayers.
11:50AM FEB 25TH 2014
LOL! I did a little more 'informing myself' on this issue. True to form, the WH & Defense Dept is asking for an INCREASE to what is already written into budget law. Rubio is apparently criticizing the WH for not spending MORE! What a Dee-bag Patriot!
Kanefield, P
10:09AM FEB 25TH 2014
I believe that Rubio is 100% right. With all the Arab countries coming against us and our allies, if we have any left, we need to stand strong! We now, more than ever, have a huge population, and we need protection here and abroad. Do not destroy this great country~
12:12PM FEB 25TH 2014
Yes, yes . . . war, more war, much more war . . . cleanse all not like us . . . . that's the answer . .

Pathetic . . . .
Kanefield, P
10:05AM FEB 25TH 2014
Rubio is 100% right!
9:47AM FEB 25TH 2014
States heavily dependent on the Military bases and more, from the Federal kitty that's mostly borrowed, along with the wasteful Defense Industries spending will be going Ballistic over these proposals!! They're also the states with the loudest War Cheer Leaders, as well as refusing to Sacrifice themselves thus free wars and decades of the results from. Ignoring the oh so many many issues of the veterans who return from these military operations theaters as well as the many issues caused by these wars as to needs of enhanced national security, ignoring means no need to pay for thus holding their responsibility, the Veterans Administration, to keep operating under budget and leads to attacks on the agency by those charged with the nations purse strings and those who carry that responsibility, of those who served them, in the Congress, State Legislatures and Residents the states and nation!!

Freedom Isn't Free!! We Paid For It!! American Veterans!!

What led to this proposal, and the many others these past years, rubber stamped spending on wars, and more, and huge no bid private contracts for public corporations war services, including building a huge private merc army accountable to no one, all borrowed, all off the countries budget books till executive administrations changed, none paid back, and total obstruction of the countries needs, military and veterans in this case especially, since that executive office changed.

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility' {two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the long term results of, DeJa-Vu all over again of previous decades and wars of! Ignore the many issues from those who serve, by those served, no need to fund!}

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth
our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Where were the 'offsets' to federal spending as the rubber stamping, more then the off the books wars with no-bid contracts, was going on and claiming 'patriotism' for?

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71
11:55AM FEB 25TH 2014
Well said!
9:04AM FEB 25TH 2014
Isn't there something wrong with a party and it's politicians that will cut food stamps but not the military?
Fran k
8:58AM FEB 25TH 2014
This is a scary thing. It will obviously make the USA a weaker nation militarily. With psycho nations like Iran coming into power and the nuclear age, it hard to understand why even the liberal biased Democrats would choose such a path.

As a political body, the Democrats are truly PATHETIC!
11:54AM FEB 25TH 2014
Pathetic are the fearful who need to spend $682 B to fend off tiny, insignificant Iran. When did my fellow Americans turn into such whimpering babies?
8:20AM FEB 25TH 2014
Agree with the sentiment expressed by Mark that Mr Rubio does nothing but bleat to get attention. I disagree with he and comments by Gina in that we don't need a military that spends $682 BILLION annually -an amount that unnecessarily dwarfs the next largest countries by too much (China $166 B; Russia $90; United Kingdom $60B).

What will undo the US most, and permanently is self-destructing by its own debt, taxing and spending on a defense-based economy until it is morally and financially bankrupted.
7:56AM FEB 25TH 2014
Mr Rubio would hop on someone's grave if it gave him a chance to be noticed by the media. He continues to be a conceited individual who has done nothing for Floridians!
I do NOT agree with the plan to dismantle our Armed Forces, and most of us with common sense already know Congress will never abide by the proposed plan. Mr. Rubio knows nothing about the military, only what he hears and reads, which is what makes all of his comments most humerous, if not very sad. He truly tries to act as though he knows what's happening in front of his face but unfortunately he's blinded by the lights of the cameras!
7:43AM FEB 25TH 2014
This is Soros plan to weaken and eventually destroy America so he can have his demonic New World Order along with the Globalist Clintons. This idiot needs to be deported out of America and hung for treason, or crimes against humanity for the Jews he sent to the death camps so he could steal their belongings. I despise this man.

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