Pentagon now preparing for massive cuts as fiscal negotiations appear stalled
The Pentagon said Wednesday it is now preparing for billions of dollars in budget cuts should President Obama and congressional Republicans fail to reach an alternative plan by Jan. 1.
The move breaks from earlier statements that no plans were being made – a signal that difficulties reaching a deal are beyond the public stalemate or so-called “political theater” and that Washington officials are bracing for the worst.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said the Office of Management and Budget instructed the department to begin preparing for the roughly $500 billion cuts over the next 10 years – a situation resulting from both sides failing earlier to reach a more measured approach to cutting the country’s roughly $16 trillion deficit.
Little said the department is looking for programs to cut and is developing a plan to announce possible changes to its millions of personnel.
He also repeated that the cuts – known as “sequestration”– would be "devastating” and could result in major changes to national defense strategy, at least in the short term.
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