Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Capitol Hill is intended to “spur” Republicans on to oppose automatic defense cuts included in the “sequester,” because of Cheney’s ties to Halliburton.
“Vice President Cheney’s up here. We know that before he became vice president, he worked for Halliburton,” Reid said at a Tuesday press conference. “Halliburton did extremely well during his time as vice president, and I assume there’s going to be some concern about Halliburton again in this conversation they are going to have today.”
Reid also addressed the looming threat of a budget “sequester,” a sort of Treasury Department escrow. The sequester was designed to automatically keep Congress from spending over the cap it has set for itself, by withholding money from government agencies regardless of their budgets.
“The sequester — there’s one way to make sure we don’t have the sequester — do what we were supposed to do,” Reid said. “We passed a law, that’s where the sequester is coming from and we tend to focus and you folks tend to focus, my press friends here, tend to focus as sequester as a one sided vehicle, that it only dealt with defense, that’s not true.” (RELATED: Boehner balks at automatic defense cuts: ‘No one really wants to go there’)
Reid said the press “always” fails to mention that there are also “big cuts” in the sequester for domestic programs.
“I’m sure that the vice president’s here to spur them on to focus on how the defense industry is being hurt with the sequester. They voted for it. Republicans voted for it,” Reid added.
The Daily Caller’s request to speak with Cheney about his visit to Capitol Hill was denied.
Cheney led Halliburton, one of the world’s largest energy providers, from 1995 to August 2000. One of company’s subsidiaries was contracted with the government to work in Iraq’s oil fields during the U.S. war there.