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Service Leaders Alert Lawmakers on Impact of Automatic Spending Cuts

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  • February 20, 2012
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Leaders of the Army, Navy and Marines warned lawmakers last week of the devastating effects an additional $500 billion in automatic spending cuts would have on national security.

Army Secretary John McHugh said officials would begin to plan for the budget cuts this summer if no legislative fix for the looming budget cuts is in sight, reported CQ Today.

McHugh told lawmakers the cuts, prompted by the super committee’s earlier failure to reach agreement on a deficit reduction plan, would affect every Army activity. The threat of sequestration is hurting the industrial base as well, upsetting employees and shareholders, he added.

“To use an axe to cut a half-trillion dollars from defense spending would be perilous enough, but to do so without providing the department with any means of managing those reductions would be beyond risky,” he said at a Friday budget hearing, reported the Hill newspaper. “To say this would be unacceptable is, at least in my opinion, an understatement.”

On Thursday, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said that sequestration, particularly if personnel were excluded from the cuts, would be “a near impossible situation for us.”

“I will tell you that the impact of sequestration, we’ll have a reduced forward presence, it will be a refined strategy as we know it today,” Amos said.

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