Top Pentagon Official: Military ‘Cried Wolf’ Over Sequestration

The Defense Department is planning to change its messaging in the struggle over spending cuts.

SLUG: ph-shooting DATE: March 05, 2010 NEG NUMBER: 212525 LOCATION: Pentagon City Metro Stop PHOTOGRAPHER: GERALD MARTINEAU, for TWP CAPTION: We photograph people who decided to walk to the Pentagon, including many in uniform, rather than take a shuttle bus. Photo shows them crossing Army-Navy Drive.
Washington Post/Getty Images
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
Feb. 25, 2014, 11:54 a.m.

The Pentagon has over­stated the ef­fects of the se­quester’s spend­ing cuts in pre­vi­ous years, a top De­fense of­fi­cial said Tues­day.

“We cried wolf about this a lot in ‘13, as ‘13 was ap­proach­ing,” said Frank Kend­all, the Pentagon’s un­der­sec­ret­ary of De­fense for ac­quis­i­tion, tech­no­logy, and lo­gist­ics, at a de­fense budget con­fer­ence dis­cuss­ing the se­quester cuts.

“What we did in ‘13 was sort of the death of a 1,000 cuts,” Kend­all said, adding that cuts were made across the board, but none were sig­ni­fic­antly neg­at­ive.

Ser­vice chiefs have said that for the 2013 fisc­al year, they largely helped hold off the se­quester by dol­ing out pre­vi­ously un­used funds. And though the mil­it­ary was far from un­scathed, it re­mained glob­ally su­per­i­or to oth­er mil­it­ar­ies.

The Pentagon is ask­ing Con­gress for $496 bil­lion for the up­com­ing fisc­al year, $45 bil­lion less than it ori­gin­ally pro­jec­ted and $9 bil­lion above the budget caps un­der the se­quester.

“I think it’s time go­ing for­ward to have an in­formed de­bate about this,” Kend­all said. He ad­ded: “We’re go­ing to put on the table what it means”¦. If you don’t like all the “¦ things we’re do­ing “¦ look at all the bad things we’ll be do­ing if se­quest­ra­tion stays in place.”

And though the de­part­ment’s fisc­al 2015 budget sticks to the spend­ing lim­its set by last year’s agree­ment, it in­cludes pro­vi­sions — in­clud­ing BRAC, changes to the A-10, and com­pens­a­tion is­sues — that Con­gress is ex­pec­ted to push back on, if not com­pletely re­ject.

After the 2015 fisc­al year, the five-year budget ex­pec­ted to be re­leased by Pres­id­ent Obama on Monday will ask for $115 bil­lion over the se­quester-level caps.

But act­ing Deputy De­fense Sec­ret­ary Christine Fox said Pentagon of­fi­cials be­lieve the “budget is reas­on­able and real­ist­ic and re­spons­ible.”

What We're Following See More »
EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1
DEA Head Rosenberg Resigning
30 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency who has found himself and his agency at odds with the Trump administration in recent months, told staff members Tuesday that he is planning to step down from his post." The Obama administration holdover will step down on October 1.

Source:
HAD BEGUN TO PUBLICLY CRITICIZE TRUMP
Sen. Corker to Retire
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Another Republican member of Congress is showing himself out the door. After much thought, consideration and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018,” said Sen. Bob Corker in a statement. The Tennessean has served since 2006.

Source:
NOT ILLEGAL, BUT MUST BE FORWARDED TO WORK ACCOUNTS
At Least 6 WH Advisors Used Private Email Accounts
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Jared Kushner, Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller, and Ivanka Trump sent or received some emails on personal accounts that related to White House business. "Officials are supposed to use government emails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight. But it is not illegal for White House officials to use private email accounts as long as they forward work-related messages to their work accounts so they can be preserved."

Source:
SAYS CONTACTS WERE “BENIGN”
Stone Releases Correspondence with Guccifer 2.0
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to Donald Trump, released correspondence Tuesday" with the online hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 , which "U.S. intelligence agencies said was used by Russian government-linked entities to distribute embarrassing information about Democrats during the 2016 election. The disclosures came in a 47-page opening statement made available to reporters in advance of Mr. Stone’s Tuesday appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee." Stone called his contacts with Guccifer "limited" and "benign."

Source:
PRIEBUS, SPICER, HICKS, MCGAHAN
Mueller Could Start Interviewing White House Figures This Week
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Special counsel investigators could start interviewing current and former White House staff as soon as later this week regarding the Russian probe, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. One source cautioned it is still being worked out with Robert Mueller's office and said it might be delayed until next week." Among those who could have a sit-down with the special prosecutor: former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former press secretary Sean Spicer, communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, communications adviser Josh Raffel and associate counsel James Burnham.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login