The Defense Department’s undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller), Robert Hale, told a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week that Defense officials have only “limited flexibility” to handle the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, that go into effect next year.
Earlier this month, the White House released the congressionally mandated Sequestration Transparency Act, which listed the effect of the cuts across 1,200 budget account areas. Overall, Defense accounts will be cut by 9.4 percent, according to the report.
Hale told lawmakers in his prepared testimony the cuts will impact readiness and training efforts and “almost certainly force us to reduce funding for civilian personnel.”
Hale added: “Although it is premature to describe in detail how sequestration would affect the DoD civilian workforce, it might be necessary to impose a hiring freeze, though we would seek to exempt certain critical positions), consider unpaid furloughs, and take other actions.