RENO, Nevada - US President Barack Obama challenged Republicans on Monday to stop "playing politics" with the US military in a fight over end-of-year budget cuts that would strike the defense industry if Congress does not agree on a new deficit-cutting deal.
Republicans and Obama's Democrats are at odds over how to avoid triggering billions of dollars in across-the-board federal budget cuts resulting from a "sequestration" mechanism put in place by Congress in 2011 as part of its solution to break an impasse over the US government's borrowing limit.
In a speech to veterans that included a robust defense of his foreign policy achievements, Obama painted himself as being on the side of military men and women and said Republicans were putting them in jeopardy by insisting on extending Bush-era tax cuts that Democrats oppose.
"Let's stop playing politics with our military," Obama told a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Nevada, a battleground state the president hopes to win in the Nov. 6 election against Republican Mitt Romney.
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