Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter reiterated to Congress the need for legislative action to stop the looming March deadline for the mandatory sequestration cuts to the military, in testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday.
“Where is that other $41 billion going to come from?” Carter said. “It comes from people who are not federal employees, but who work for us indirectly doing the things that we need, whether they’re maintaining our ships or building our weapons systems.”
Carter also added it was imperative for Congress to pass the pending Fiscal Year 2013 defense appropriation bill to prevent stalled project starts.
“Our friends and our enemies are watching us,” Carter said. “They need to know that we have the political will to forestall sequestration.”
Carter’s comments come after some members of Congress have claimed the Pentagon is overestimating the effects of sequestration.
“One of the reasons that sequestration is not being frowned upon by a lot of my colleagues is because they’ve seen all of the wasteful spending,” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) told POLITICO, Thursday. “They say, ‘You can waste all this money and then all the sudden, even though it’s been a slow-moving train wreck, Ash Carter and the service chiefs are on Capitol Hill screaming fire.’”
Pending legislative action by the start of March, sequestration will lop ten percent off military accounts save uniformed personnel.