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Turning Back Defense Cuts Now a Likely 2012 Campaign Issue

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has repeatedly blasted the super committee, and his spokesman confirmed Monday that he would move to reverse automatic defense cuts if elected.

That is consistent with signals the Obama administration sent throughout the super committee negotiations and fits with what Congressional leaders have said about a process they hatched to resolve a partisan impasse to raise the debt ceiling that consumed Washington over the summer. Still, the president’s position could change in the heat of the 2012 campaign, whether under pressure from the left or the right, possibly leading to Congressional action next year.

Some Congressional Republicans have already discussed attempting to reverse the defense cuts in 2012 as the failure of the super committee became more likely. But legislative aides have indicated that doing so would be extremely difficult. “Me, personally? Yes, I would feel bound,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said. “It was part of the agreement. And so either we succeed or we’re in the sequester.”

Steven T. Dennis and Meredith Shiner contributed to this report.

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