U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna is supporting a bill that would modify cuts to America's military in an effort to avoid dramatic cuts to the military in 2013.
H.R. 3662, the Down Payment To Protect National Security Act is an effort to pay for the first year of potential sequestration cuts without doing serious harm to the military. It is sponsored by Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
"This is a sensible plan to save money over a decade without compromising our commitment to our men and women in the military," Hanna said. "This bill would allow us to avoid subjecting our national security to unnecessary risks while still reining in excessive spending. I am hopeful that Congress will consider this important legislation before automatic defense cuts go into effect."
The failure of the super committee to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years triggered equivalent cuts in discretionary spending. Without preventative action, America's military would be cut by $500 billion. The Down Payment To Protect National Security Act imposes a reduction of the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition and applies the savings to pay for one year of sequestration, for defense and non-defense categories. A 10 percent reduction will be achieved over 10 years by only hiring one federal employee for every three who retire, and would save the military from additional catastrophic cuts beyond the $487 billion in the President's FY13 budget request that Secretary Panetta has described as "the most dangerous risk of all" to our national security.
Unlike other sectors of the government, the Department of Defense must plan for personnel costs, weapons systems, and other operational needs years before they are needed. Decisions that will impact the Fiscal Year 2013 budget are being made now. Many of those decisions, like canceling procurement projects, separating troops, and closing facilities, are irrevocable.
"Having visited Congressman Hanna's district, I know how important the Rome area defense operations are to not only the local economy, but also national security," Chairman McKeon said. "Congressman Hanna has been a tireless advocate for Rome Lab, DFAS, and EADS in Washington. I'm pleased he's supporting this effort to lessen the impact of spending cuts to our military."