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Search Tags: DoD budget
The top lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee have called on the Defense Department to detail how it will cut billions more from its budget if sequestration continues into next year. In a letter dated May 2, Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee, asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to provide a "package of reductions" to the department's proposed 2014 budget.
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.
Defense Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter told DoD components Thursday to draw up plans for full-year continuing resolution, plus sequestration. The approach to deal with across-the-board cuts would be to freeze civilian hiring, cut training, travel and conferences and reduce business technology expenditures.
The Air Force orders commanders to start cutbacks in advance of the next budget emergency.
DoD's operations and maintenance accounts will likely be hit first if sequestration goes into effect. Unlike its procurement and research and development activities, which can continue to function on funds obligated in prior years, O&M dollars generally get spent right away. In preparation for sequestration, the Pentagon has already let go of tens of thousands of temporary hires and is drawing up a contingency plan for one-day-a-week furloughs. Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter says the unpaid furloughs would begin in April and continue through the remainder of the fiscal year if sequestration is not avoided.
DoD's 2014 budget will ask Congress for a 1 percent increase in military pay, down slightly from previous projections.
Shortfalls in operating accounts would mean military units would be undertrained, underequipped and unable to deploy by the end of fiscal 2013, senior DoD officials predict.
Round one is already in effect and includes a civilian hiring freeze, cancellation of conferences, cutbacks on training, and a reduction in IT spending for the Navy. Round two would involve unpaid civilian furloughs, operational reductions for deployed ships, and cuts to tuition assistance for sailors.
Gen. William Shelton says some costs for space activities are unsustainable and the service is working to bring them down. But he implored "congressional teammates" not to cut funding for programs that are working.
The Republican Party platform criticized President Barack Obama for not doing enough to avert automatic budget cuts set to hit the Defense Department in January. The plan, which was unveiled Tuesday, also called for greater public-private collaboration on cybersecurity and recommended an overhaul of the Veterans Affairs Department.