“Let’s be honest. The trillion dollar hit that is sequestration barely puts a dent in our debt,” she said.
The defense cuts under sequestration have been widely condemned by lawmakers, industry executives and Pentagon officials because they would affect all sections of the defense budget equally without allowing leaders to set strategic priorities.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the cuts would be devastating to the Pentagon’s new military strategy, following on the heels of $487 billion in cuts already planned over the next decade. Industry officials and lawmakers have campaigned for Congress to take action to avert them.
AIA is preparing an eleventh-hour lobbying blitz opposing sequestration, including a rally at BAE Systems’ Nashua, New Hampshire, facility on September 10 and orchestrated visits to Congress by hundreds of defense industry suppliers.
Many analysts have noted that the cuts follow a decade-long military buildup and are smaller than those during similar military drawdowns after periods of warfare over the past 60 years.
Boeing’s Muilenburg said his firm expected further Pentagon spending cuts as the government tries to resolve its fiscal crisis, but hoped they would be less than the $500 billion required by sequestration.
He said the critical issue was to avoid across-the-board cuts and enable the Pentagon to “make decisions aligned with the national strategy.”
Muilenburg said Boeing’s defense division had already taken aggressive steps to prepare for the cuts under sequestration by slimming down in recent years, cutting workers, closing facilities and increasing its focus on foreign sales.