Carter: Congress Must Address “Irrational” Sequester

Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter this week urged Congress to prevent the Budget Control Act’s sequestration mechanism from kicking in, which will occur on January 1 and impose additional significant spending cuts on the Pentagon unless something is done beforehand. “Sequester was supposed to be the trigger, a trigger so irrational that the prospect of it would drive and force the leadership to do what was needed”—put together a federal budget package which could win wide support, Carter told attendees of his American Enterprise Institute-hosted talk in Washington, D.C., on May 30. He called sequester an “awful prospect.” He also reiterated that the Defense Department is taking a “strategy-driven” approach to transition from an era dominated by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a far more complicated environment. “Every dollar [DOD] spends on old and unnecessary programs is a dollar we lose from new, necessary strategic investments,” stressed Carter. (Carter transcript)