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Shows & Panels
The Defense Department says it has begun planning for the roughly $500 billion in personnel and program cuts that will be needed if Congress and the White House fail to reach an deal that would avoid the double hit of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts dubbed the fiscal cliff.
This past summer, defense experts gathered into teams to map out how to cut DoD's budget by a half trillion dollars over 10 years. The results from the game provide some guidance on ways to make the cut happen in real life based on strategic choices, the organizers say.
There's a little more than a month to go until sequestration kicks in, taking more than a $1 trillion from agency budgets over 10 years unless Congress finds a way to agree on a Plan B for deficit reduction. In this week's edition of On DoD, Jared Serbu, Federal News Radio's DoD reporter, talks with several defense experts about sequestration and the Defense budget in a second term under President Obama:
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp that a large number of lawmakers from both parties support a plan that raises more revenues and recognizes that entitlement programs have got to be made viable over the long term.
"Fog bank" of threatened automatic spending cuts makes predicting Defense policy under a re-elected President Obama difficult. But experts agree DoD is likely to take more cuts, with or without sequestration.
Pentagon makes one more plea for a resolution to sequestration. A regular budget, an annual authorization bill and a resolution to the fight over cybersecurity laws would be helpful as well.
During Monday night's debate, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney discussed their different approaches to cutting the budget, particularly in the area of military spending. Romney criticized the Obama administration for proposing cuts to military spending, particularly through sequestration. Obama countered sequestration would not happen, and he said he would maintain military spending based on the needs of the Defense Department.
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), wrote to the heads of 10 defense companies seeking information about the legal justification for not issuing notices of potential layoffs due to the across-the-board defense cuts set to go into effect Jan. 2. If contractors don't issue the notices and contracts are, in fact, terminated or modified, then agencies will pick up the contract-termination and employee compensation costs, the Office of Management and Budget stated in guidance issued late last month. But Republican lawmakers have argued the White House doesn't have the legal authority to ask companies to not comply with the law.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said President Barack Obama has failed to produce a workable budget plan, while Vice President Joe Biden said budgets introduced by Ryan "eviscerated all the things that the middle class cares about."
Lockheed Martin will not issue layoff notices — known as Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices — if the automatic, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration take effect Jan. 2.
The Defense Department's undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller), Robert Hale, told a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week that Defense officials have only "limited flexibility" to handle the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, that go into effect next year.
Robert Hale, the military's CFO, said reductions in force would cost more money than the Defense Department would save. But hiring a freeze and involuntary unpaid furloughs would be likely for civilians.
The across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2 would be "deeply destructive" to national security and core civilian agency programs, according to a comprehensive report from the White House detailing the impact of the cuts on specific programs and accounts. The $109 billion in cuts coming next year — split evenly between Defense civilian agency budgets — would slash Defense discretionary spending by 9.4 percent and civilian agency spending by 8.2 percent.
Defense industry executives criticize the impending sequestration, which they say would lead to the loss of more than 1 million defense-related jobs.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley took over as Chief of the Army Reserve in June. He tells Federal News Radio there are only two issues that keep him up at night.
Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, discussed the Obama administration's revised defense strategy, which indicated a shift toward the Asia Pacific region and the Air-Sea Battle concept of overseas military operations.
Most of the Pentagon's contract spending wouldn't take an immediate hit from sequestration. Conversely, civilian employees would likely be laid-off or furloughed in the few days or weeks after the automatic budget cuts kick in, according to a Washington think tank's analysis of the convoluted laws that govern the automatic cuts
Spending levels appropriated by Congress, so far, for fiscal 2013 fail to live within the limits set by last year's Budget Control Act (BCA), the Office of Management and Budget said in a report issued Monday. If Congress fails to adhere to the annual limits, OMB is required to enact automatic cuts to bring them back into balance, Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama that preceded OMB's report.
Coming soon...maybe...to a federal agency near you: Sequestration. Everybody is talking about it and nobody is doing anything about it. Congress set up the Dr. Strangelove-like time bomb to force it to do something...but so far nobody is doing anything but warning about federal furloughs and layoffs that could also devastate the contractor community.....
A trio of Republican senators sounded the alarm over billions of dollars' worth of "catastrophic" and "draconian" military budget cuts set to take effect in January, telling an audience Monday that more time was needed for negotiations.