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McCain, Graham, Ayotte to talk defense cuts in Tampa Monday

Posted Jul 25, 2012 by William March

Updated Jul 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM

Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire will hold a town hall meeting in Tampa Monday to discuss the impact of defense cuts that will take place if Congress fails to reach a budget deal.

In a news release, the senators, all members of the Armed Services Committee, said the cuts of $500 billion over 10 years “will weaken American national security, put one million jobs at risk, and break faith with the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families.”

The cuts are part of the debt-limit deal reached by Republicans and Democrats after last year’s battle over raising the national debt ceiling, to be enacted if Congress failed to reach an agreement on deficit reduction.

Nonetheless, Republicans including Mitt Romney now blame the impending cuts on President Obama, and some Republicans are using them in their campaigns. In an intensifying political fight over the cuts, Obama responds that Republicans are responsible for the cuts for refusing to accept his proposal on taxes, eliminating the Bush-era tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers.

The three senators will hold meetings Monday in Tampa; Fayetteville, N.C. and Norfolk, Va., all areas with lots of military-related jobs—and also all presidential battleground states.

A McCain spokesman said Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have been invited, but neither had confirmed as of this afternoon.

The meeting, open to the public, will be at 9 a.m. at the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation at 124 South Franklin Street.

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