Panetta urges Congress to block defense cuts

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is urging Congress to act quickly in order to avoid having to cut $500 billion in defense spending over the next 10 years. Congress must act before January 2 when the cuts will automatically kick in as a result of the debt ceiling deal last fall. Reuters: "Congress can't keep kicking the can down the road or avoiding dealing with the debt and deficit problems that we face," Panetta told a news conference. "The men and women of this department and their families need to know with certainty that we will meet our commitments to them and to their families." Panetta's remarks come at a time of renewed focus on the looming across-the-board defense cuts, which would be carried out under a process known as "sequestration." Industry officials met with House Democrats to discuss the cuts on Thursday and held talks with Panetta at the Pentagon on Tuesday. Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said this month that ...(Read Full Post)