U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta requesting that he not begin implementing force structure reductions until the fiscal year 2013 defense budget proposal has been reviewed and approved by Congress.
Text of the letter below and attached.
March 19, 2012
The Honorable Leon Panetta
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301
Dear Mr. Secretary:
In our preliminary review of the fiscal year 2013 budget request, it has become clear that the Department intends to begin implementing decisions under this budget request by taking actions in fiscal year 2012. It is also clear that there are programs where the Department plans to implement actions in 2012 before any of the congressional defense committees will have had an opportunity to act on the fiscal year 2013 budget request. While we understand that doing so may help the Department achieve more "savings" than might be otherwise realized, the Department should avoid taking actions that would restrict Congress' ability to consider and act on the fiscal year 2013 budget request.
We request that you not take actions to implement decisions that would be difficult or impossible to reverse by anticipating congressional approval of what may turn out to be very contentious proposals before the committees have had an opportunity to produce bills reflecting their responses to the fiscal year 2013 budget request.
Thank you for your assistance.