Via Jennifer Rubin, here's the House GOP line on defense cuts in the deal:
“FY 2012 and 2013
In the House-passed bill, defense funding would be a range of plus-or-minus three percent from last year’s level. In this new framework, the Democrats tried to insist on locking in Defense cuts – which Republicans consider irresponsible and strongly opposed. Instead, the emerging framework creates a ‘firewall’ that separates all security spending (security spending is not just DoD but also foreign aid and Homeland Security, for example) from non-security spending. This structure allows our members, led by House Armed Services Chairman Rogers and McKeon, to work with both parties to do the right thing and ensure that any cuts do not harm defense. While Democrats may continue to insist and try to cut defense, Republicans will fight on behalf of our Armed Forces and make sure our troops get the resources they need.
The second issue regarding defense is in the ‘trigger’ or ‘contingency.’ The point of the ‘backstop’ is that it isn’t supposed to be used.
•Any savings from the Joint Committee would reduce the amount of the sequestration (dollar-for-dollar).
•Even if the committee failed to produce a single dollar in savings, Defense would be on the hook for less than $500 billion over nine years, beginning in 2013.
•FY 2012 would not be affected under any circumstances,
•If this occurs - Congress, and the President (whether Obama or his successor), could replace the Defense reductions with other spending reductions.
•And, again, the point of the ‘backstop’ is that it never, ever happens.