Crossroads GPS: “Looming”

An ad from Crossroads GPS attacks Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) over his support for last year’s deal to raise the debt ceiling, which created the deficit reduction super committee and imposed defense cuts as an incentive for members to find a compromise. The super committee failed, and GPS blames Kaine for upcoming defense cuts, which could impact Virginia-based defense industry jobs particularly hard. But Kaine supported the debt ceiling deal because it was necessary to avoid devastating economic default, and he has laid out a plan to avoid the impending defense cuts.

Kaine Supported Deal To Avoid Default, And Has Laid Out A Plan To Avoid Defense Cuts

The Federal Budget Control Act Was A Last-Minute Deal To Raise The Debt Ceiling That Also Created The Deficit Reduction Super Committee. From PolitiFact: “Last year, the United States government was reaching its legal debt limit, which meant Congress had to authorize a higher level for borrowing. Raising the debt limit (also called the debt ceiling) was in some ways symbolic: Congress has the power of the purse, and the decisions to spend the money had already been made. In prior administrations, Congress approved higher debt limits with some partisan sniping (including from then-Sen. Obama against President George W. Bush) but without too much fuss. But in the summer of 2011, House Republicans insisted that actual spending cuts go along with an increase to the debt limit. House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations with the Obama White House, and at first the two sides seemed to be moving toward a wide-ranging overhaul of the federal budget, referred to in the media as a ‘grand bargain.’ The closed-door negotiations fell apart, though. […] Republicans and Democrats came to a less ambitious agreement to raise the debt limit through the Budget Control Act of 2011. The law found approximately $1.2 trillion in budget cuts spread over 10 years. But it also directed Congress to find another $1.2 trillion through a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. This 12-member committee became known as ‘the super-committee.’” [, 9/21/12]

  • Debt Ceiling Deal Imposed Harsh Defense Cuts Triggered By Super Committee’s Failure As Incentive For Success. From the Associated Press: “The deal between House Republicans, the Democratic-controlled Senate and the OK of the White House, came hours before the deadline for raising the amount of money the government can borrow. As an incentive, the agreement prescribes draconian cuts both parties would find unpalatable — $487 billion to defense over 10 years plus $492 billion in automatic cuts if a bipartisan congressional ‘super committee’ [failed to come up] with $1.2 trillion in savings. The committee failed.” [Associated Press via, 7/24/12]

Kaine Supported Debt Ceiling Deal But Believes We Can Still Find A Way To Avoid Defense Cuts. From the Associated Press: “Republican former Sen. George Allen is airing a new ad that deftly fosters a false impression that his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, supports potential deep military spending cuts under a debt-reduction compromise. The ad is rooted in Saturday’s debate between the candidates, when Allen attacked Kaine for supporting a bipartisan compromise in August that allowed Congress to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. […] In the weekend debate, Allen tried to graft the national tactic into his neck-and-neck Senate race against Kaine, claiming that Virginia — home to the Pentagon and the world’s largest U.S. Navy base in Norfolk — could lose more than 200,000 defense-related jobs. ‘George, the deal was the right thing to do — as Eric Cantor said, as Gov. Bob McDonnell said, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said,’ Kaine replied when Allen made the charge during the debate. But Kaine was clear in his reply that his endorsement of last August’s stopgap did not extend to approving of the super committee’s failure or of the continued partisan gridlock between House Republicans and Senate Democrats that jeopardizes a deal by year’s end. ‘This is a time when we really have to elevate what we do because the challenges are significant,’ Kaine said in his response. ‘We need people who will come together and try to find a deal and I believe Congress can still find a deal to avoid the need for cuts that are going to jeopardize our nation’s defense.’” [Associated Press via, 7/24/12]

  • Failure To Raise Debt Ceiling Could Have Resulted In Default Or Had Other Severe Economic Consequences. From CNNMoney: “A failure to raise the debt ceiling would likely send shockwaves through the underpinnings of the financial system — and possibly ripple out to individual investors and consumers. The federal government would be forced to prioritize its payments. It would risk defaulting on its financial obligations. And if that happens, credit rating agencies would downgrade U.S. debt.” [, 7/21/11]
  • Kaine’s Opponent, George Allen, Opposed Debt Deal Because Cuts Weren’t Deep Enough. From the Associated Press: “Like Kaine, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Gov. Bob McDonnell also backed the August compromise that kept the government from defaulting on its debts for the first time and defused a global financial meltdown. Allen opposed the compromise, saying the cuts would not have been deep enough.” [Associated Press via, 7/24/12]

Kaine: Sequestration Involves “The Wrong Cuts.” From the Suffolk News Herald: “Kaine said he is concerned about the prospect of sequestration, the mandatory, across-the-board cuts the military faces if Congress cannot come to a budget agreement by January. ‘I think I know how to make cuts the right way,’ he said, adding that sequestration would be ‘the wrong cuts.’” [Suffolk News Herald, 4/12/12]

Kaine Has Laid Out Specific Proposal On Avoiding Defense Cuts

Kaine Supports Compromise Deal To Avoid Defense Cuts While Allen Has Stated He Will Not Support Any Compromise Involving Tax Increases. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Virginia Politics blog: “On Monday, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine laid out his views on how to avoid looming defense cuts, part of the sequestration resulting from the failure of a so-called deficit reduction super-committee. […] In a conference call with reporters, Kaine said congress should create a new plan that would add $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. He said that should be coupled with an expiration of Bush-era tax cuts on households earning $500,000 or more, which he said would create more than $500 billion in new revenue to offset cuts. ‘We cannot solve our deficit and debt challenges through cuts alone,’ he said, criticizing GOP rival George Allen’s position, stated in a recent debate, that he would not support any tax increase, even if every $1 of revenue was matched with $10 in cuts. Kaine called that ‘a position that makes compromise impossible and a position that, frankly, also makes solving the deficit also impossible.’” [, 7/30/12]

The Deficit Panel Failed Because Conservative Lawmakers Refused To Compromise

Deficit-Reduction Committee Failed After Republican Members Refused To Budge On Tax Cuts For The Wealthiest Americans. According to the Los Angeles Times: “The committee faced a Wednesday deadline to vote on a proposal to slash the nation’s deficits by $1.5 trillion over the decade. The panel that was brought into existence as a result of the summer debt ceiling fight spent three months in mostly secret negotiations. A deal needed to be posted by Monday evening to provide a 48-hour review. But Republicans and Democrats were unable to compromise on the tax and spending issues that have divided Congress all year, punting the debate to next year’s presidential and congressional campaigns. Republicans refused to substantially raise taxes and wanted to cut federal deficits largely by reducing spending on Medicare and other domestic programs. Democrats wanted a more equal balance of new taxes and spending cuts — a level of taxation the GOP could not accept. A focal point in final days became the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in December 2012. Republicans wanted to extend those tax breaks for the wealthy and other Americans, rather than carve into that source of new revenue. Most Republican members of Congress have signed an anti-tax pledge with conservative activist Grover Norquist, and were hesitant to agree to new taxes. [Los Angeles Times11/21/11]

[NARRATOR:] They’re looming across Virginia: Cuts to national defense that threaten nearly a million small business jobs. And Tim Kaine supported the Washington budget deal that got us here. A deal that could destroy over 500,000 jobs in the defense industry. The industry that helps power Virginia’s economy. Tim Kaine didn’t put Virginia first. So Virginia, don’t put Tim Kaine in the Senate. Crossroads GPS is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Crossroads GPS via, 10/8/12]