Wednesday, November 23, 2011

9/16/11 RD Bulletin: The Deficit Super Committee Begins Its Work

ed. Ethan R. Rosenkranz

State of Play

Legislative: The deficit Super Committee has now met three times, including Thursday morning's closed-door meeting, and earlier this week, when it heard testimony from CBO Director Elmendorf who challenged  lawmakers' assertions that the Pentagon could face up $1 trillion in total cuts over the next decade.  Defense manufacturers continue to worry about the size and scope of upcoming defense cuts, as evidenced by the Aerospace Industry Associations' (AIA) "Second to None" campaign rollout this week.  Meanwhile, SASC Chairman Levin prepares to provide savings recommendations to the deficit Super Committee by mid-October.  The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to report out its FY12 defense spending bill, maintaining spending levels at FY11 levels. 

Executive: Service Chiefs and agency heads continue to prepare recommendations for savings, while it remains unclear how detailed DoD's recommendations to Congress will be as the Pentagon prepares a new comprehensive strategic review.  Defense Secretary Panetta met with aerospace industry representatives this week to reassure them of their national security importance as contractors gird for budget cuts.  Later, through a spokesperson, Sec. Panetta warned Congress that automatic sequestration could cause $1 trillion in budget cuts to DoD while causing the unemployment rate to rise one percent. 

News Articles and Commentary

DoD Comptroller Hale testified that the Pentagon will be ready for a statutorily-mandated audit by 2017.  (9/15/11)

The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a defense appropriations bill that maintains funding at FY11 levels, while cutting $695 from the F-35 and terminating the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.  (9/15/11)

Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters that automatic sequestration cuts could slash DoD's budget by $1 trillion over the next decade and cause a one percent rise in the unemployment rate.  (9/15/11)

The National Taxpayers Union and U.S. PIRG released a joint-report to the deficit Super Committee detailing $429 billion in defense cuts, including canceling the F-35, MEADS, and the C-27J.  (9/15/11)

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Bruce Carlson believes that, in response to looming defense cuts, he can find savings in NRO operations while protecting baseline programs and science and technology funding.  (9/15/11)

The Heritage Foundation analyzes a recent report by DoD on Chinese military developments and warns Congress and the Administration to consider a rising Chinese threat before slashing the defense budget.  (9/15/11)

This week, the Aerospace Industries Association launched its Second to None campaign opposing further spending cuts because aerospace industries supports one million direct jobs in the U.S.  (9/14/11)

The Pentagon has submitted a reprogramming request to Congress in anticipation of regular appropriations delays.  (9/14/11)

Gordon Adams discusses the Senate Appropriations Committee's move to slip non-war related items into the OCO account.  (9/14/11)

The Will and the Wallet: Slack in the System
The Defense Business Board recently released a report showing that 5-15% cuts to DoD spending could be achieved through reductions in overhead and infrastructure without impacting strategy.  (9/14/11)

The Pentagon is purchasing additional F/A-18/E/F Super Hornets to offset any gaps caused by F-35 delays.  (9/14/11)

Secretary Panetta met with aerospace industry representatives this week to reassure them and win their cooperation as the Pentagon looks at potential savings.  (9/13/11)

During his confirmation hearing, Deputy Defense Secretary-nominee Ashton Carter testified that the Pentagon's weapons procurement program is "not acceptable." (9/13/11)

SASC Chairman Levin will present detailed recommendations on possible defense cuts to the Super Committee by mid-October.  (9/13/11)

Former Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld warns that if Congress blames DoD for its spending problems, the U.S. will soon suffer another terrorist attack.  (9/10/11)

Reports and Releases

Department of Defense: DoD Releases Unified Command Plan 2011 Change 1 (9/14/11)