Defense Leaders Address FY 2013 Budget and Sequestration
Secretary of Defense (SecDef) Leon Panetta and Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a rare appearance before the Senate Budget Committee this week to discuss the FY 2013 Defense budget request. In addition to already planned budget cuts totaling $480 billion over the next 10 years, the Department of Defense (DoD) may also be asked to find an additional $500 billion to $600 billion in cost savings if automatic budget cuts (sequestration) take effect in January 2013, as outlined in the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. As previously reported, the FY 2013 budget includes punitive TRICARE fee increases, increased pharmacy co-pays, and a BRAC-like commission to examine reforming the military retirement benefit.
During the hearing, SecDef Panetta revealed that DoD has made no plans for implementing sequestration cuts, in hopes that Congress will alter, reduce or repeal the reductions or find other ways to shrink the federal deficit. According to Panetta, enacting sequestration would be like using a “meat ax” to implement Defense cuts that were mandated after the “Super Committee” failed to reach agreement last year on $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years.
FRA supports legislative
proposals in the House and Senate (H.R. 3662, S. 2065) to exempt DoD
from the first year of sequestration, and encourages its members to