House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Monday said potential across-the-board spending cuts at the Pentagon next year could be problematic as the U.S. battles the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“I don’t think sequestration and increased efforts in Syria, in Iraq are compatible,” Rogers said on WVLK 590’s “Kruser and Krew” radio program.
Rogers was asked whether the White House will need to ask Congress for more money to fight ISIS, but the appropriations chairman said the Pentagon has enough funding for now from the recent stopgap spending bill.
The continuing resolution funds the government at fiscal 2014 levels and expires Dec. 11.
Sequestration, meanwhile, could force the Pentagon to cut $50 billion from its budget next year. The budget resolution Congress approved last December, which only covers fiscal 2014 and 2015, delayed the implementation of those across-the-board cuts.
The new Congress next year could further delay sequester cuts with another budget agreement.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also raised concerns over the defense budget Monday in which he criticized the administration for cutting back.
Rogers said “we have no choice” of avoiding a fight with ISIS, even though the Obama administration knew about the extremist group long ago.
The Republican said Obama should seek congressional approval for the authorization of military force against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The White House has so far said the president already has the necessary authority.
Asked if he would vote for an authorization, Rogers said, “I want to see the proposal.”
Rogers supported the recent amendment authorizing President Obama to train and equip vetted, moderate Syrian rebels.