Lawmakers warn sequestration pains could compromise military readiness

Updated
By Richard Spiropoulos
A platoon sergeant of the U.S. Army soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, looks at comrades during a joint U.S.-Afghan military patrol in...
A platoon sergeant of the U.S. Army soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, looks at comrades during a joint U.S.-Afghan military patrol in...
Erik de Castro/Reuters

Sequestration, those long-dreaded automatic, across-the-board spending cuts kicked in March 1st and the effects are expected to place a heavy toll on our military with civilian workers at the Pentagon and bases across the country firmly in the cross-hairs.

The Department of Defense is forced to trim at least $40 billion off its budget before the end of the fiscal year and Virginia Republican Rep. Ron Wittman says it could compromise our military’s readiness.

“We all want to make sure we reduce our deficit, but this is not the smart way to do it and it cuts right at this nation’s ability to defend itself,” he said.

During a press conference Friday, President Obama singled out Virginia to highlight the sequestration’s blistering effects on citizens. “Communities near military bases will take a serious blow, hundreds of thousands of people who serve their country. Border control agents, FBI agents, all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs,” he said.

Wittman says he understands his party is trying to contain government spending but these massive indiscriminate cuts are not a smart way to go about it and hinders the nation’s ability to defend itself. He also added that although he voted for the Budget Control Act in 2011, he’s been extremely vocal about making sure lawmakers made spending reductions the right way.

But the question is if both sides of the aisle unanimously agree that the sequestration is a bad idea, then why allow it to happen? Congress has had 16 months since the Budget Control Act passed to figure a way out of this and there is speculation now that with a continuing resolution being planned for next week, provisions could be supplied for money to be moved around to provide for the more important parts of our national defense.

Lawmakers warn sequestration pains could compromise military readiness

Updated