AIA Supports Sen. Cotton’s Amendment to Eliminate Sequestration

September 14, 2017

Statement by AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher calling for Congress to pass Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act eliminating the sequestration process imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association strongly supports, and urges Congress to pass, the amendment to the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act proposed by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that eliminates the sequestration process imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).

Since the passage of the ill-advised BCA, AIA has steadfastly called for elimination of the caps, and the sequester enforcement process, imposed on defense and non-defense discretionary spending. The caps are so inadequate that Congress has raised them every year since the BCA was signed into law. The sequester mechanism, as we saw in 2013, is a disruptive and harmful process, making across-the-board cuts to thousands of line items government-wide after appropriations have been signed into law. As we have said many times, these procedures do little to restrain government spending and completely fail to address the critical drivers of America’s debt and deficit issues – revenue and mandatory spending.

While the Cotton amendment does not repeal or raise the caps on discretionary spending, repealing the sequestration process is a good first step. The caps have done severe harm to the readiness of our armed forces, delayed government investment programs in procurement and R&D, endangered critical investments in our space and civil aviation infrastructure and caused ripple effects of lost jobs and opportunities in government and industry. We hope Congress will address the caps themselves in the near future.

It is long past time for Congress to shake off the unnecessary and ineffective restrictions on discretionary spending under the BCA. We urge Congress to begin this process today by passing Senator Cotton’s amendment.