Sequestration Takes Back Seat In Bill Markups

By Michael Bruno
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

By comparison, legislators across Capitol Hill seem to be rallying in opposition to the U.S. working with Russia's defense export company, Rosonboronexport, especially in light of disputes between Washington and Moscow over Syria. While the latest legislation would not undo an active Pentagon purchase of more than 30 Mil Mi-17s for Afghan forces, it could impede future acquisitions.

But even universal congressional agreement there would mean little if it does not become law or if U.S. defense planning remains in turmoil over sequestration, which will occur again later this year if Congress can muster only a continuing resolution of 2013 appropriations, as expected, instead of agreeing on fresh appropriations.

“Whatever we do here today will wind up being reduced by a significant amount at some point over the course of the next six months as we get together and finally do our budget and our appropriations bills, one way or the other,” says leading House Armed Services Democrat Adam Smith (Wash.). “We assume a number somewhere in the $40-to-50-billion range above what ultimately is going to be spent by DOD. What are the choices we are going to make? None of them are good, but I think continuing to duck them doesn't service the Department of Defense.”

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