Sequestration Cuts May Get Bigger

Furloughs for civilian Defense employees were reduced from 11 days to six and commissaries have returned to regular hours of operation, but shipmates are reminded that FY 2013 was only the beginning of the sequestration spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.  Provisions of the BCA will be implemented over 10 years and the cuts get bigger with each year.  It’s also important to note that 50 percent of the cuts must come from the Defense Department (DoD), despite the fact that DoD makes up only 17 percent of the total budget. This fiscal year’s defense cuts amounted to $37 billion and next year (FY 2014) those reductions may increase to $52 billion, unless alternative spending reductions are authorized. Neither the Administration’s 2014 budget request nor the House and Senate versions of the Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1960, S. 1197) account for sequestration cuts.

Congress reconvenes next week and FRA and 33 other Military Coalition organizations have signed a letter being sent to all members of Congress expressing concerns about continued defense cuts and asking lawmakers to work together to “eliminate the harmful effects of sequestration.” The letter warns that such broad-based cuts will compromise our nation’s defenses and “the very viability of the All-Volunteer Total Force.” 

Members are strongly urged to use the FRA Action Center to ask their elected officials to eliminate Defense spending from sequestration. Click here to weigh in on this issue.