Consensus may be building in Congress to halt automatic defense budget cuts, says AIA president

ARLINGTON, Va., 29 March 2012. Threatened automatic cuts in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) budget, which would take place if Congress fails by the end of this year to make additional federal budget cuts or tax increases would hollow out our military, endanger our troops and stop economic recovery dead in its tracks, Marion C. Blakey, president and chief executives officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) trade group in Arlington, Va., said today.

The congressionally approved 2011 Budget Control Act calls for across-the-board defense budget cuts to begin on 1 Jan. 2013 if Congress fails to cut spending, increases taxes, or both to reign-in budget deficits. The law calls for Congress to cut defense spending by $500 billion over 10 years if lawmakers cannot reach agreement on budget targets, which looks increasingly likely.

Defense experts say automatic defense cuts, or "sequestration," could put a stop to U.S. Air Force plans for a new long-range jet bomber, a new Army tactical vehicle, and could reduce the U.S. Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers lower than the current 11 vessels.

The AIA's Blakey, in a statement released today, says a bipartisan consensus is emerging that the sequestration cuts imposed by the Budget Control Act are a cure worse than the disease.

"More deep cuts to defense investments could cost over a million jobs and create enormous economic dislocation in thousands of communities across the country just as economic recovery is finally taking root," Blakey wrote. "In addition, these cuts would cede American leadership in a host of critical technologies, allowing our enemies to close the gap in stealth flight, air defenses, unmanned vehicles and surveillance and reconnaissance."

Consensus may be building slowly in Congress to head-off sequestration and spare the DOD budget even larger cuts next year than have been proposed by the Obama Administration, Blakey says.

"Voices as diverse as International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Tom Buffenbarger and Senator Jon Kyl have spoken eloquently on this subject. Speaking in the Capitol and writing in the opinion pages today, Mr. Kyl and his colleagues Sens. Rubio, Ayotte, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, Inhofe, and Vitter powerfully sounded the alarm," Blakey says.

In remarks at RAND this morning, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith also flagged this issue - asked when the impact of budget sequestration would be felt, he said "It's now!" Blakey says.

"The sequestration hammer falls in just 278 days," Blakey points out. "In both chambers of Congress, strong efforts are underway to find a solution to this looming crisis, and we appreciate all of these efforts. But it's long past time to act."

For more information contact the AIA online at www.aia-aerospace.org.

Follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE