Fighting for Florida

Senator Rubio joined Senators Kyl, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, and Ayotte in introducing The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act, legislation which overrides the automatic, across-the-board cuts to our nation's defense capabilities, which are scheduled to take effect in 2013 unless Congress acts. Instead of making severe cuts to the Department of Defense that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned would be "devastating to the defense budget" and would "weaken our national defense," This bill replaces the scheduled cuts by reducing the federal workforce and extending the current pay freeze for federal workers. By doing so, the legislation ensures the debt reduction targets laid out in the Budget Control Act are still on track to be met --without endangering our national security at a time when threats both at home and abroad remain very real.

The specter of arbitrary cuts to the defense budget was one of many reasons that Senator Rubio voted against the Budget Control Act last August. As Secretary Panetta has noted, if implemented, these cuts would lead to:

  • The smallest ground force since 1940;
  • The smallest number of ships since 1915; and
  • And the smallest Air Force in history.

A recent study from Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University illustrated the very real consequences across-the-board defense cuts would have on Florida’s economy if they take effect next year as scheduled. The study found that job losses in Florida would exceed 39,000 and that gross state product would decline by more than $3.3 billion.

Senator Rubio is committed to cutting spending while ensuring that our nation’s military remains able to protect and defend our nation against those who wish to do us harm. The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act achieves these goals by shrinking the size of the federal bureaucracy – not by hollowing our critical defense needs.

Read FOX News’ report on the legislation here