The country could face a second round of automatic budget cuts if Congress can’t agree on a spending plan by year’s end.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said at hearing on Wednesday that the sequestration cuts already imposed on the Pentagon are throwing the military off its geostrategic goals.
“Mr. Chairman, I’m so concerned that in an effort to chase the dollars, in an effort to drive down the costs we’re putting our country, we are putting our national defense in jeopardy because decisions are being driven by sequestration and we’re not keeping our eye on the bigger picture,” Murkowski said.
The Alaska Republican said the Air Force’s recently shelved plan to move F-16s fighter jets out Eielson Air Force Base was an example of putting cost-cutting above defense strategy.
Among the unmet needs, Murkowski said, is new rescue helicopters for the Alaska Air National Guard.
Military service chiefs said last week that sequestration is forcing them to cut programs that will ultimately leave the country less prepared to counter global adversaries.
- The vote allows road projects and other construction to move forward. It was the only piece of business for the six-hour special session.
- Derek Sikes is an associate professor of entomology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and insect curator at the Museum of the North. He said populations of various types of bugs can vary widely from year to year.
- Federal authorities are charging a Utah man in the murder of his wife aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Southeast Alaska. Kenneth Ray Manzanares, 39, of Santa Clara, Utah, is charged in the death of Kristy Manzanares, who died Tuesday.