Rapid Fire Feb. 6, 2013: Selective Memory Epidemic Strikes Washington
- US Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno released a slidedeck [PDF] detailing the budget shortfall that will affect operations & maintenance for the rest of the fiscal year. Of course cramming a year worth of cuts into half the time is going to look bad. But the Budget Control Act (BCA) – the law that sets the sequester in place – had already been on the books for months when the Administration submitted its FY13 budget request a year ago. That the Office of Management and budget and the Pentagon chose to pretend sequestration would not happen when they built that budget, then stuck to that position for months despite clear lack of action in the Senate, is entirely self-inflicted.
- President Obama continues to urge Congress to preempt sequestration before its March 1st deadline while Secretary of Defense Panetta and CJCS Martin E. Dempsey complain about the effects of the continuing resolution. This elicits a reminder: the House of Representatives passed its defense Appropriations bill in July last year. It is the Senate rather than the whole Congress which has shown little interest in appropriations bill this fiscal year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had made clear at the time that the BCA was all the budget he needed for FY13.
- Yesterday’s WSJ article by Michèle Flournoy on how to properly cut defense spending seems to be making the rounds. The Administration’s Plan B for the next SecDef in case Senator Hagel continues to meet opposition in the Senate? We have so far restrained ourselves to watching Netflix’s House of Cards just two episodes at a time, but in the meantime there’s always real life.
- A week ago Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions introduced a voluntary layoff program aiming to reduce its workforce by about 350 people. Dice | WaPo.