Hagel: Budget Uncertainty Undermines National Security

Image: Hagel: Budget Uncertainty Undermines National Security

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 12:30 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has warned that further budget uncertainty could harm the Pentagon and undermine U.S. national security.

And he urged lawmakers working to draft bill to fund the government by mid-January to show flexibility in order to reach a long-term spending agreement.

"Our allies are asking questions: Can we rely on our partnership with America? Will America fulfill its commitments and its promises?" he said at a Pentagon news conference, reports The Washington Post.

"These are huge issues for all of us and they do impact our national security…and our standing in the world," Hagel said.

The temporary deal reached by Congress and the White House on Wednesday authorized the Pentagon to spend $496 billion in the 2014 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, unchanged from the 2013 budget.

The administration had proposed a $526 billion defense budget for the 2014 fiscal year on the assumption that the budget-slashing imposed by sequestration would be eliminated.

Now, unless Congress acts to end the cuts, the Defense Department would have to spend less than what it requested in the spring.

"I think all of us are aware that it will be a somewhat different, smaller military if we have to go through with these cuts," Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said at the news conference.

"We will be as prepared as we can, within the limits of time that we have, to be ready for a wide range of contingencies, because we know that's what we face," he told reporters.

Related Stories:

Defense Chief Hagel: More Budget Cuts Will Force Pentagon Layoffs


Obama Warnings Fall Flat as Agencies Cope With Sequester Cuts




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