Rapid Fire Feb. 7, 2013: Trickle Down Sequestronomics
- House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA), SASC Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and other allied Republican members of Congress introduced the Down Payment to Protect National Security Act of 2013 [PDF] as their way of preventing sequestration. The bill “would pay for one year of defense and non-defense sequestration by requiring a reduction in the federal workforce through attrition and a pay freeze for members of Congress.” The Congressional pay freeze is of course only symbolic. More than anything, this proposal shows no grand bargain is going to happen in the less than 4 weeks remaining before the sequester kicks in: it’s now all about finding a patch that will stick for a little while.
- Meanwhile Continuing Resolution/sequestration planning continues to trickle down through the services. The Air Force memo [PDF] shows $3.4B in FY13 (still tentative) sequestration actions, from potential furloughs to reductions in weapons sustainment and flight hours.
- And here’s the take from Vice Adm. David Dunaway for US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR):
“A year-long CR and sequestration would mean a $3.5 billion cut to NAVAIR in FY13, including $3 billion across investment accounts (research and development, and procurement) and $520 million in OMN.”
- The US Navy also decided to delay the deployment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG).
- The US Senate committee vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense has been postponed as Republican Senators wanted to receive more information of Hagel’s past speeches and how organizations he’s affiliated with are funded. The Hill | Roll Call | Reuters.
- France has so far spent 70 million euros on Operation Serval in Mali, mostly on logistics, according to Le Parisien. That newspaper is not the country’s most reliable, but in this case their sourcing from a closed-doors parliamentary hearing seems credible. Recently Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius said the French troops might withdraw from Mali as early as next month.
- The SPEEA trade union posted a video to explain their position in their negotiations with Boeing, as they want to have the option to go on strike. See also Leeham News | Herald Everett.