WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today responded to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's letter to the committee leaders outlining the Department's contingency plans if sequestration for fiscal year 2014 is not averted.
“While I would have liked more details, Sec. Hagel's response makes clear that the devastation of sequester budget cuts will only be amplified beyond what we have experienced thus far," said Inhofe. "As I predicted, sequestration is leading to the hollowing out of our military and if the Department of Defense’s sequestration is not averted for future years, we will move beyond furloughs and programmatic reductions to firing personnel and canceling our critical weapons programs. Earlier this year, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, warned that if these drastic and historic cuts were allowed to continue, we would reach a point where our military would be unable to respond to future crises. I share Admiral Winnefeld’s concerns and, according to Sec. Hagel’s response, we’re well on our way to this unthinkable reality. His letter clearly states that if sequestration occurs again in FY 2014, our military will likely be unprepared to deal with future contingencies around the world—a startling fact given the growing instability and threats across the Middle East, North Africa, and around the world.”
On May 2nd, Sen. Inhofe and SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin co-authored a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel requesting guidance on how to achieve the $52 billion in fiscal year 2014 defense savings required by the Budget Control Act.