There are many reasons to be skeptical that any likely budget deal would be worth supporting. And it’s long past time for Republicans to be planning strategically, and laying the groundwork legislatively and politically, for an outcome of no deal (or possibly a mini-deal that doesn’t sacrifice conservative principles). But this news report of a potential deal that would cut $600 to $700 billion in defense spending, so far, I believe, uncontroverted by Republican negotiators, ups the ante. Any such abdication of our basic national security responsibilites should be unacceptable--especially to Republicans, who want to claim to be the party of American strength. For what it’s worth, I for one could not support such a deal, and would do what I could to mobilize others to defeat it. Decline is a choice.

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