WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and key Senate Democrats on Wednesday slammed a Republican-concocted plan to offset defense-spending limits by inflating a war fund.
House and Senate GOP leaders’ decision to inflate the Obama administration’s $50.9 billion war-fund request to $89 billion is a “gimmick,” says Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat and ranking member of the Appropriations Defense subcommittee.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, the full committee’s ranking Democrat, said the Republican budget plan the Senate approved Tuesday could plunge the chamber back into the partisan stalemate that has plagued the Obama era.
Mikulski, chairwoman of the full panel last session, predicted if Republicans insist on crafting a department-specific spending bill that adheres to their budget resolution, it would trigger “more gridlock and confrontation” for the congressional appropriations committees.