Two House Republicans want Matt Doheny to join them in Congress.
But Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, is using the occasion to blunt one of Mr. Doheny's most potent attacks — Mr. Owens' vote in favor of defense sequestration.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Texas, and Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, announced their support for Mr. Doheny, a Republican of Watertown, on Monday. Mr. Thornberry was supposed to attend a campaign event for Mr. Doheny today, but had to cancel because of Hurricane Sandy.
"House Republicans have spent the last year in Congress working to avert dangerous defense cuts that threaten our nation's security and vital assets like Fort Drum," Mr. McKeon said in a news release from the Doheny campaign. "Matt Doheny has already been a vocal ally in this effort, and we need more like him in Congress."
Those "dangerous defense cuts" refer to defense sequestration. Basically, in August 2011, Congress needed to cut its deficit, and quickly, to avert a default on its debt. It left many of the tough decisions up to a committee of Congress, which would negotiate in early 2012. If that committee couldn't come together on a deal to cut the deficit and/or raise taxes, automatic cuts to entitlement programs and defense spending would take place.
Well, the supercommittee couldn't agree, and those cuts are set to take effect in January 2013, unless Congress does something in the lame-duck session. Mr. Doheny says he wouldn't have voted for the deal.
Mr. Owens, meanwhile, notes that both Mr. McKeon and Mr. Thornberry voted for it.
"Matt Doheny is quick to criticize Bill Owens for supporting the Budget Control Act, but has no problem welcoming a Republican Congressman from Texas who did the same," Owens spokesman Jon Boughtin said in a news release before Mr. Thornberry's visit was canceled. "Matt Doheny is big on talk and light on solutions. Bill Owens works with both parties and is willing to make tough decisions that bring federal spending in line while protecting important assets at home like Fort Drum."