Defense

January 4, 2013

Panetta thanks Congress, seeks end to sequestration

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta expressed his gratitude to U.S. lawmakers for delaying sequestration and voiced optimism for finding a permanent way to avoid an additional $500 billion in budget cuts.

“On behalf of the Department of Defense, I want to express our thanks to the Democratic and Republican members of Congress who voted to temporarily avert sequestration,” Panetta said in a statement issued Jan. 2. “Hopefully, this will allow additional time to develop a balanced deficit reduction plan that would permanently prevent these arbitrary cuts.”

Congress passed legislation yesterday delaying the sequestration process by two months. Sequestration, included in the 2011 Budget Control Act, would have automatically cut $500 billion from defense spending over 10 years on top of $487 billion in spending reductions already identified over the same timeframe.

Had Congress not acted, the Defense Department, along with other federal agencies, would have been forced to take dramatic steps which would have “severely impacted” civilian personnel and disrupted DOD’s mission, Panetta said.

“For more than a year, I have made clear that sequestration would have a devastating impact on the department,” he said. “Over the past few weeks, as we were forced to begin preparing to implement this law, my concerns about its damaging effects have only grown.

“As an example, had Congress failed to act, I would have been required to send out a notice to our 800,000 civilian employees that they could be subject to furlough,” Panetta added.

The defense secretary credited Congress with preventing the “worst possible outcome” by delaying sequestration for two months, but noted the threat of sequestration continues.

“Unfortunately, the cloud of sequestration remains,” Panetta said. “The responsibility now is to eliminate it as a threat by enacting balanced deficit reduction. Congress cannot continue to just kick the can down the road.”

The Defense Department is “doing its part” to help the country address these budget concerns by working to implement $487 billion in spending reductions in accordance with its new defense strategy, Panetta said.

“The specter of sequestration has cast a shadow over our efforts,” he said. “We need to have stability in our future budgets. We need to have the resources to effectively execute our strategy, defend the nation, and meet our commitments to troops and their families after more than a decade of war.”

The defense secretary lauded the DOD workforce for its service and sacrifice. He said federal government leaders and members of Congress have a “responsibility” to provide the necessary support for them to accomplish their missions.

“Every day, the men and women of this department put their lives on the line to protect us all here at home. Those of us in Washington have no greater responsibility than to give them what they need to succeed and to come home safely,” Panetta said.

“My hope is that in the next two months, all of us in the leadership of the nation and the Congress can work together to provide that stability and to prevent sequestration once and for all,” he said. “Our national security demands no less.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

AEDC and AFRL collaborate to make advances in hypersonic technology

Air Force photograph by Mike Smith As part of the U.S.-German cooperative program known as Hypersonic International Flight Experimentation, an integrated aerodynamic and aerothermal test and analysis of a hypersonic cruise vehi...
 
 

Minuteman III rocket motor aging surveillance test completed at AEDC

Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel completed testing of a Minuteman III Stage II motor in the Complex’s J-6 Large Rocket Test Facility for aging surveillance of the 48-year-old defense program. “The Stage II motor is part of the Minuteman III Aging and Surveillance test program to obtain motor performance data that is used to identify...
 
 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 

 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 
C130b

C-130 Hercules still going strong at 60

Air Force photograph The C-130H Hercules dons the new eight-blade NP-2000 propellers. The 418th Flight Test Squadron replaced the C-130H Hercules’ four-bladed propellers with the eight-bladed propellers in 2008 in support...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard

Romania air base replaces Transit Center Manas

Army photograph by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard Oregon Army National Guard, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers from load onto a C-17 Globemaster III Aug. 13, 2013, bound for Afghanistan from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romani...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>