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Defense trade group urges sequestration repeal

The Aerospace Industries Association is calling on Congress and the president to revise or outright repeal the Budget Control Act of 2011 and its dreaded hammer of sequestration.

The letter is signed by AIA’s leadership as well as senior executives from several member companies such as Leidos, ManTech International, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Huntington Ingalls, L3 Technologies, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

The letter quotes Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis telling Congress: “No enemy in the field has done more to harm the warfighting readiness of our military than sequestration.”

Sequestration caps spending levels and institutes automatic cuts on civilian and defense budgets.

AIA is concerned that without a repeal or vision of the BCA discretionary spending caps, the final fiscal year 2018 appropriations “could undermine our collective commitment to strengthening military readiness.

Since BCA's passage, Congress has often gotten around the budget caps by appropriating money to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund. But that has often drawn criticism because it misuses the purpose of the OCO.

There also are non-defense programs such as a Federal Aviation Administration program to approve new aircraft technologies that would benefit from a repeal of sequestration, according to AIA.

“These non-defense programs are vital to our economic prosperity and to our ability to maintain a vibrant and robust aerospace and defense industrial base,” they wrote.

The letter was addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 06, 2017 at 11:00 AM


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