This “gutting” referred to the automatic cuts known as “sequester” mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The across-the-board cuts did disproportionately affect military spending to the tune of about $22 billion.
But they were never actual cuts. They were simply decreases in the rate of growth. Military spending stood at $718 billion in 2011, the year sequester became law. But military spending would’ve been $967 billion this year, even under the sequester.
How was a military budget that went up $249 billion this year considered “gutting” the military?
The Democrats were eager to get rid of the sequester to protect domestic spending. Many hawkish Republicans were eager to get rid of the sequester to protect Pentagon spending.
The big spenders in both parties got their way yesterday in the House when the Ryan-Murray budget agreement passed 332-94.