Acquisition and Sequestration

Under the Budget Control Act’s sequestration clause, the Pentagon’s budget would drop from a projected $530 billion in Fiscal 2013 to about $472 billion, said Todd Harrison, defense budget expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. That’s roughly the same size as the Fiscal 2007 budget, adjusted for inflation, he said during a briefing in Washington, D.C. Although all accounts would face cuts, acquisition coffers likely would take the biggest hit, said Harrison. The Pentagon’s original Fiscal 2012 defense budget request included an increase in acquisition funding. However, under the recently passed BCA, acquisition will take a six percent cut in Fiscal 2013, assuming half of the BCA reductions come out of acquisition and half come from the rest of the Pentagon’s budget, he said. Under the act’s sequestration mechanism, which would impose more draconian reductions starting next fiscal year, acquisition accounts would face a 12 percent cut, said Harrison during his Nov. 23 discussion. Still, a more likely scenario, “is that the military personnel account will be exempted,” meaning that the rest of the budget, including acquisition, would be cut by roughly 18 percent, he said. (See also Analyst: USAF Budget Crunch Inevitable.)