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Congress is expected to reconvene on November 13 after the Presidential and Congressional elections. With a looming deadline to avert sequestration by the beginning of next year, there have been a number of Capitol Hill events focusing on the need to deal with the impending across-the-board budget cuts.
The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on September 20 that focused on the Sequestration Transparency Act report and how military leaders are preparing for the “fiscal cliff”. The hearing witnesses included Defense Undersecretary (Comptroller) Robert F. Hale, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mark Ferguson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Larry O. Spencer and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford.
The Committee issued a statement focusing on the details provided in the Sequestration Transparency Act report to Congress, describing what the cuts would look like if sequestration went forward. “The report assumes discretionary appropriations are funded based on a continuing resolution that provides a rate of operations as in [Fiscal Year] 2012,” said the report. “Based on this, the report estimates that reductions in the national defense function would total $54.7 billion for discretionary and direct spending; about $52.3 billion of these reductions would apply to the DOD budget.”
In another September 20th hearing, the House Small Business Committee put a spotlight on how sequestration would negatively affect American small businesses. Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University testified about his recent AIA-sponsored study on how small businesses would fare under sequestration. In his opening statement, Dr. Fuller stated, “DOD spending reductions would result in the loss of 520,398 jobs in small businesses, accounting for 50.2 percent of all private sector job losses generated by mandated cutbacks under sequestration. In addition, non-DOD agency spending reductions would result in the loss of 435,782 jobs in small businesses.” The hearing also featured the testimony of Mike McCord, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller).
AIA Source: michael.berger[at]aia-aerospace.org and kristen.moore[at]aia-aerospace.org