Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Congress lack of budget hurting defense

Reminder, Congress writes the Bills and does the spending. They haven't passed a budget in years and it has gotten worse because of it. This is the result.
Budget strains to cut carrier fleet in Gulf to 1
By LOLITA C. BALDOR
Associated Press
52 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say that budget strains will force the Pentagon to cut its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf area from two carriers to one.

Officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has formally approved a plan to keep just one carrier in the region. There have been two aircraft carrier groups there for most of the last two years.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Gulf but was brought home in December for maintenance. It will return later this month, but plans for the USS Harry S. Truman to deploy to the Gulf this week have been canceled.

The officials discussed the cuts on condition of anonymity, because the announcement has not been made.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday laid out a grim list of spending cuts the Pentagon will have to make in the coming weeks that he said will seriously damage the country's economy and degrade the military's ability to respond to a crisis.

Slamming members of Congress as irresponsible, Panetta said lawmakers are willing to push the country off a fiscal cliff to damage their opposing political parties.

He said that if Congress doesn't pass a budget the Pentagon will have to absorb $46 billion in spending reductions in this fiscal year and will face a $35 billion shortfall in operating expenses.

It is pretty extensive compared to what FOX News put out.
Pentagon to cut aircraft carrier presence in Persian Gulf to 1 due to budget strains
Published February 06, 2013
Associated Press
U.S. officials say that budget strains will force the Pentagon to cut its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf area from two carriers to one.

Officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has formally approved a plan to keep just one carrier in the region. There have been two aircraft carrier groups there for most of the last two years.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Gulf but was brought home in December for maintenance. It will return later this month, but plans for the USS Harry S. Truman to deploy to the Gulf this week have been canceled.

The officials discussed the cuts on condition of anonymity, because the announcement has not been made.

From Stars and Stripes
Congress inaction on budget could affect raises, benefits for military
By CHRIS CARROLL AND JENNIFER HLAD
Stars and Stripes
Published: February 6, 2013

WASHINGTON — The inability of Congress to pass a federal budget could result in smaller-than-expected pay raises for military troops next year, and if automatic spending cuts are triggered by further gridlock, military benefits could be next on the chopping block.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey will recommend to Congress that pay increases be limited to 1 percent in 2014, rather than the 1.7 percent that was previously approved, a defense official said Wednesday. Pentagon officials say the change would save $470 million in 2014 and more than $3 billion total by 2018.

Congress will decide whether to follow the Pentagon’s recommendation and uncouple next year’s military pay from the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index, which is related to cost of living, according to a defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Panetta warns of degraded military readiness from spending cuts
By Tom Cohen
CNN
updated 2:14 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
NEW: The White House says President Obama has offered compromise
House Speaker Boehner accuses Democrats of avoiding needed spending cuts
Defense Secretary Panetta says political partisanship threatens U.S. stability
The across-the-board cuts will take effect March 1 unless Congress acts
Washington (CNN) -- Furloughed workers, reduced combat readiness, shrunken naval operations and cuts to Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta listed those consequences as he provided a stark warning on Wednesday about the effects of impending budget cuts on the military unless Congress acts to avert them.

The result, he said, would be "the most serious readiness crisis" faced by the armed services in over a decade.

Panetta's address at Georgetown University, which he called "hopefully one of my last speeches as secretary of defense," included the first details of how the Pentagon would deal with the automatic spending cuts -- or sequestration in congressional jargon -- set to trigger March 1 across federal agencies.

For the Pentagon, sequestration would mean $500 billion in cuts over 10 years. For 2013 alone, some $46 billion in reduced spending would result in "a serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness," Panetta said.

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