And in a speech this week, Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader in the House, declared that Pentagon spending has to be part of any talks about reducing the deficit. As The Hill notes, “In prior years, such a floated proposal would have been shot down immediately. But it’s still airborne.”

The story says Hoyer is going to talk more about the need to look at defense spending in a Monday speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where some members of the crowd are sure to raise an eyebrow, if not an outright objection.

The Hill also makes this smart observation:

While Republicans hit Hoyer hard for saying Democrats would not produce a budget, they stopped short of criticizing his call for defense budget cuts. While some Republicans will certainly balk at cutting the Pentagon’s budget, others might be reticent because cutting government spending is a top priority of the Tea Party movement.

The headline on The Hill piece is promising:

The Liberal Dems’ battle to cut defense spending reaches a turning point

The press should see this as a turning point, too.

Holly Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy. She is based in Washington and reachable at holly.yeager@gmail.com.