Defense industry lobbyists are bearing down on members of Congress in a bid to avert $52 billion in automatic spending cuts, part of a series of reductions that threaten to reshape military programs and contractors’ profits for years.
The Pentagon’s chain of subsidized grocery stores to major weapons systems and troop strength may be on the chopping block to pay for as much as $825 billion in budget reductions that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said would inflict “real damage” on the U.S. military.
When an e-mail surfaced this week that seemed to indicate spending reductions for U.S. agricultural inspections were guided by public relations, Republicans pounced. They said it proved their suspicions that the administration is manipulating cuts for political gain.
He’s an anti-tax Republican representative from Ohio. She’s an anti-war Democratic senator from Washington state. Jim Jordan and Patty Murray have little in common, save this: Protecting multibillion-dollar defense projects in their states from budget cuts.
With an eye on Asia and a constrained wallet, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered a plan to create a “smaller and leaner” military that will be “rapidly deployable and technologically advanced.”