Monday, November 21, 2011

Supercommittee fails

A special congressional super committee acknowledged failure Monday to cut the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, and President Obama warned that he would veto any attempt to undo a resulting round of across-the-board spending cuts. (Source: Washington Post, 11/21/11) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released a statement noting his concern. "If Congress fails to act over the next year, the Department of Defense will face devastating, automatic, across-the-board cuts that will tear a seam in the nation's defense," he said. (Source: DoD release, 11/21/11) "We are now working on a plan to minimize the impact of the sequester on the Department of Defense and to ensure that any cuts do not leave us with a hollow military," Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a statement. "The first responsibility of any government is to provide for the common defense; we will pursue all options to make certain that we continue to fulfill that solemn commitment." (Source: Washington Post, 11/21/11) The Pentagon's belt-tightening has already been felt through workforce reductions. Now comes word that Boeing may close a military-aircraft plant in Wichita, Kan. About 2,100 people work for Boeing in Wichita, modifying and upgrading military aircraft. Kansas is one of the states that expected to benefit with a Boeing win over EADS to build tankers for the Air Force. (Source: Bloomberg, 11/21/11)