Fleming: Barksdale not affected, for now - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Fleming: Barksdale not affected, for now

The clock is ticking. If Congress doesn't act on a new budget by next Friday then automatic funding cuts go into effect.

Defense spending will take a major hit. So, that begs the question: What about Barksdale Air Force Base?

Barksdale, in Bossier City, is home to the famous 8th Air Force. The largest B-52 fleet in the nation employs thousands of military and civilian personnel.

Congressman John Fleming  (R - Dist. 4) says operations at the base will not take a hit. But after three or four years, all bets are off. That's when the current budget will end, and the base will start using dollars that are being budgeted for right now.

Everything that Barksdale spends now comes from money that's already been allocated.

"After 3 or 4 years anything can happen. What the military does during these cuts like this, they take down the active military duty member first. Because that's the easiest thing they can build back up," said Fleming, who is in Shreveport visiting his constituents during the congressional break. Fleming voted against the automatic cuts and remains critical of the plan that ushers in major cuts to military, education, and several other areas of the budget.

"And now we've held hostage our national defense instead of dealing with where the real costs are and that is in our entitlement, welfare alone costs over a trillion dollars last year, and it's so important that we begin to streamline those entitlement programs," said Fleming.

Talk of these automatic cuts could be a moot point, if legislators are able to agree on and pass a budget over the next couple of weeks. Fleming remains optimistic that a budget will be passed. If a budget is not passed - through the No Budget No Pay Act, Congress will not get their paychecks. A punitive measure that Fleming says he likes.

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