Automatic Defense Cuts Called ‘More Likely Than Unlikely’

January 29, 2013

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said today “it is more likely than unlikely” that automatic defense cuts of as much as $45 billion will be triggered March 1.

Spending reductions known as sequestration will take effect across most of the federal government if Congress and PresidentBarack Obama fail to reach agreement by March 1 on an alternative plan to reduce federal deficits.

“From what I hear, I have to conclude that it is more likely than unlikely that we’ll actually have to do this,”Carter said of the cuts in an interview today at the Pentagon.“We are serious about being ready.”

Carter becomes the first Pentagon official to say publicly that sequestration is likely to happen. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said Jan. 27 on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” “We think the sequesters will happen because the Democrats have opposed our efforts” to craft a compromise.

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