Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on passage of the House Defense Appropriations Bill.
Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association applauds the passage of the House Defense Appropriations Bill, which provides $512.5 billion in base funding and $85.8 billion for overseas contingency operations. However, while the bill is more than $28 billion above the levels mandated under the Budget Control Act of 2011, it still represents a reduction of nearly $3.4 billion from the Defense Department’s 2014 request for its base budget, which includes a reduction of $1.1 billion in the critical research and development accounts. More importantly, the bill – similar to President Obama’s submission of a proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 – ignores the cuts that would be imposed under sequestration.
Just a few weeks ago on July 10, Defense Secretary Hagel, in his letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, outlined what the $52 billion sequestration impact will bring to the Department’s budget if nothing is done. This cut comes on top of $487 billion dollars of reductions already being implemented across the next decade from the Budget Control Act as well as $37 billion lost from the fiscal year 2013 budget in the first round of sequestration.
“The size, readiness and technological superiority of our military will be reduced, placing at much greater risk the country’s ability to meet our current national security commitments,” Secretary Hagel said. “This outcome is unacceptable as it would limit the country’s options in the event of a major new national security contingency.”
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that sequestration through fiscal year 2014 would cost up to 1.6 million jobs. In addition to the lost jobs, an even greater consequence will be the impact to the defense industrial base. Sequestration will worsen the impacts already occurring to small businesses in the supply chain and will contribute to the loss of critical skills and experience from our unique workforce spread across the country.
These cuts constitute an unacceptable risk to our national security and economy. We urge Congress and President Obama to repeal sequestration and work together with industry to find bipartisan strategic solutions that yield cost savings and operational efficiencies that can exceed the deficit reduction achieved through the Budget Control Act.