Chesterton Tribune


Visclosky: Sequestering will jeorpardize military readiness

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U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, warned the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday of the risks posed to the country’s Armed Forces by the looming sequester.

Visclosky is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee on Defense.

The text of his remarks:

“The matter before the Congress and this Committee is of enormous consequence. The prospect of sequestration, coupled with a possible year-long continuing resolution, and shortfalls in contingency funding place our military capability at great risk. In this regard, public discussion has focused on the $46 billion sequester, but the Committee understands a year-long Continuing Resolution presents a serious risk and may leave O&M with a shortfall of over $14 billion.

“We are aware of the alarm sounded in your January 2013 letter to the congressional defense committees. We understand that the readiness problem facing our military today may be the most serious since the Task Force Smith catastrophe at the beginning of the Korean War.

“Similarly, this confluence of events creates tremendous economic uncertainty. The Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that the slowing economic output in the fourth quarter of 2012 may already reflect reduced federal spending.

“There is also a human cost to this situation. We understand the Department of Defense may have to furlough 768,000 civilian personnel. This may result in a 20-percent pay cut for DoD civilians--all of whom make vital contributions to our military capabilities; 86 percent of whom are stationed outside of the DC metro area; and 44 percent of whom are veterans. Sequestration will also hurt military families. The Defense Health Program will have to absorb $3 billion due to sequestration over the balance of this year, and DOD does not have plans in place to ensure continuous access to medical care for military personnel, their dependents and eligible retirees.”


Posted 3/1/2013