Joshua Green over at Bloomberg News has one theory why Republicans are so eager to let sequestration kick in: it’ll hurt Dem districts more, a Bloomberg study finds:
The study shows that Democratic congressional districts will be harder hit by the military cuts than Republican ones, and that eight of the top 10 districts that will experience the deepest cuts are represented by Democrats. Robert Levinson, the Bloomberg Government defense analyst who conducted the study, found that “Democrats won 47 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives in the 2012 election, but 58 percent of the military’s fiscal 2012 prime contract spending went to companies performing work in those districts.” Among the top districts, military spending in those represented by Democrats averaged $893 million this year, vs. $573 million in those represented by Republicans.
Which districts will experience the most pain? Topping the list is Missouri’s first district, which is represented by Democrat William Lacy Clay and received $11.4 billion in “prime defense contract dollars.” Interestingly, Clay may not have to worry. Much of the defense work in his district is done by Boeing for the Saudi government and therefore won’t get cut. Democratic Representative James Moran, on the other hand, is probably concerned about the $11.3 billion sent to Virginia’s eighth district. Rounding out the top three is Republican Representative Kay Granger, whose Texas 12th district received $9.8 billion last year. Representative Morris Brooks of Alabama’s fifth district is the only other Republican in the top 10, with $5.9 billion in contracts headed his way.
Now defense pork is still defense pork, but I’d have to say that this explains at least somewhat the GOP about face on the sequester in the last month or so, and why they’ve been trying to do everything they can to shift blame for it to the Democrats. The bigger issue is that Republicans are completely okay with the sequester at this point as long at Dem voters get hurt. And considering a lot of actually useful things in the defense budget are going to get the axe (VA programs, medical care, VAWA provisions for the military, etc) well, as long as Dems feel pain, the Republicans don’t seem to mind at all…