The Defense Department will furlough its civilian employees for 11 days due to sequestration cuts, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a prepared statement May 14. Furloughs will begin July 8 at a rate of one day per week.
In order to meet fiscal 2014 budget cuts, the Defense Department must eliminate excess domestic infrastructure, department officials told the Senate Armed Services Committee during an April 17 hearing .
President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget requests $526.6 billion for the Defense Department, including $155.8 billion for the Navy, $144.4 billion for the Air Force and $129.7 billion for the Army. By function, the budget includes $209.4 billion for operation and maintenance, $137.1 billion for military personnel and $99.3 billion for procurement.
There needs to be close scrutiny of DoD's organizational chart and command structures, Hagel said. The way the military is run now dates back to the early years of the cold war and the last major re-organization was the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which focused on establishing a clear chain of command with little consideration given to cost or efficiency, Hagel said.
The estimated cost of DoD's portfolio of major defense acquisition programs decreased by 10 programs and more than $152 billion from 2011 to 2012, the report said. Those decreases are largely the result of more programs exiting than entering the portfolio as well as reductions in procurement due to program cancelations and restructurings, the report said.
This week the Senate Budget Committee began the process of reviewing and potentially approving a budget plan that could eventually end up being its first in four years. The committee is expected to vote Thursday on what it calls the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014.
Rep. Paul Ryan's plan for the federal budget would for two years sharply cut spending, as a share of gross domestic product, then gradually draw it down further until the budget balances in 10 years.
The House approved Wednesday a continuing resolution that would fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2013 and would increase Defense Department readiness spending by roughly $10 million. The bill topline would keep overall discretionary spending at the sequestration amount of $982 billion.
The bill, H.R. 933 , would fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year after the current continuing resolution expires March 27. The bill would not reverse sequestration, but by increasing DoD operations and maintenance spending at a level greater than the fiscal 2012 amount permitted under the current continuing resolution, it would result in a $9.59 billion increase to the O&M budget over the amount allowable by sequestration.
Sequestration cuts to the Defense Department can be managed in the near-term and will not risk U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, but the loss of readiness could compromise response to future conflicts, says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Hagel said the cuts affect each of 2,500 individual investment programs, so adjustments will include reviews and delays to contracts.