Napolitano: Sequester Weakens Defense Against Terror

Monday, 25 Feb 2013 03:33 PM

By Dan Weil

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Defense against a terror attack will be harmed by the looming automatic spending cuts known as the sequester, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned on Monday.

The comprehensive nature of the $85 billion of cuts scheduled for the next seven months “makes it awfully, awfully tough” to deter terrorist threats, she told reporters.

“I don't think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester compared to without sequester,” she said, according to The Hill.

“If you look at the combination of the effect on [the Department of Homeland Security], the Department of Justice, and the Department of Defense, we are having real impacts on the robustness of our defensive posture.”

Napolitano’s appearance at the White House represented part of the Obama administration’s attempt to push Congress to reach a deal to avoid the sequester, which is due to kick in on Friday.

That tactic has brought criticism from Republicans. Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal lashed out at President Barack Obama Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying he should do his job instead of trying to scare people.

Asked about Jindal’s comments, Napolitano said scare tactics isn’t what the administration has in mind. “I'm not here to scare people. I'm here to inform and let people begin to plan,” she said.


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