Sequestration Worries Speakers at Defense Forum

August 29, 2012

The specter of sequestration loomed large over the 2012 Dayton Small Business Defense Procurement Summit Wednesday.

The possibility of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to the Department of Defense was a hot topic as entrepreneurs and DoD officials gathered at the Dayton Convention Center to discuss how small businesses can land contracts with the U.S. Air Force and other military departments.

The Office of Management and Budget is charged with making the cuts by Jan. 2. But officials warned that preparation for possible cuts is happening now. And Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense, acquisition, technology & logistics, warned further that it’s small businesses that could especially suffer. He expects program managers to examine spending in their programs line item by line item, and they will be more likely to spare prime contractors — larger businesses — from ruinous cuts.

“Where they are going to go to find savings is the small business part,” Kendall said.

The expectation is that the presidential race has all but ensured that there will be no budget deal before the Nov. 6 election, Kendall said. Perhaps a “lame-duck” Congress will postpone expected cuts after the election, he added.

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