McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 11, 2013

District 2 U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin has voted in favor of a resolution that gives military authority to decide where to cut defense budget

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER —

District 2 U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin has voted in favor of a resolution to give the military authority to decide where to cut the defense budget for the remainder of the current federal fiscal year.
 Mullin said he is hopeful that giving the Department of Defense that flexibility will allow the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant to continue functioning at a high level.
The measure is called House Resolution 933, the Department of Defense, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, a Continuing Resolution to fund government operations.
The resolution passed in the House on Wednesday by a vote of 267-151. It still must be approved by the Senate and be signed by the president before it goes into effect.
Mullin, who told the News-Capital last week that he would support such a measure in the wake of the federally mandated sequestration cuts, outlined his reasons for supporting the Continuing Resolution in a statement issued from his Washington D.C. office.
“I voted ‘yes’ on this bill because it gives our military much-needed flexibility during sequestration and makes the spending cuts that are vital to finally balancing the budget permanent,” Mullin said of the Continuing Resolution. “These cuts are real cuts to spending and rein in many out-of-control tentacles of the federal government such as the EPA and IRS.”
Mullin went on to say that government funding should be prioritized.
“In my district, the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is a prime example of what can be done with funding when it is prioritized,” Mullin said.
“ I continue to stand with the McAlester workforce. It is my hope that allowing DOD the necessary flexibility will keep McAlester functioning at a high level. We know this plant plays an integral role in preserving our national security and is important to our local economy.”
Mullin’s office said the Continuing Resolution prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense and veterans by providing flexibility to the agencies involved to do their best with the money they have by granting authority to   transfer funds if needed, along with other measures.
While Mullin has been adamant about getting the federal government’s spending under control, he also strongly criticized the so-called sequestration, which he said cuts from effective and ineffective programs at the same rate.
 “We need to protect funding for critical national security needs and provide necessary resources to continue the nation’s military efforts abroad,” Mullin said.
 Mullin, who has called for a bipartisan effort to break the gridlock in Washington, noted that both President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate have failed to reach a budget.
Meanwhile, the House has moved forward with a budget of its own.
“It has been 1,408 days since the president and the Senate produced a budget for this country,” Mullin said in his statement.
“Spending has increased 18.6 percent  since President Obama took office and we have added $6.1 trillion to the debt,” Mullin said. “We cannot balance our budget and reduce the debt by operating government in this way.”
Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.