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.
- So far, the Juneau School District has enrolled about 230 more students than it expected. If the higher enrollment remains true in October, the district could get enough additional state funding to cover a near $200,000 deficit.
- Juneau-based nonprofit, Southeast Alaska Land Trust, was denied its property tax exemption earlier this year. Now the Assembly will take another look.
- "A lot of ice experts, including myself, thought we were headed for a record year minimum," said Hajo Eicken, a professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.