House Democrats Warn of Sequestration’s Consequences

If budget sequestration is allowed to take effect in January, funding for the F-35 strike fighter program would be cut by $1 billion in Fiscal 2013, according to a new report issued by the House Appropriations Committee’s Democrats. This would force the Defense Department to cut four F-35s from the planned production buy for the fiscal year and would reduce advance procurement, thereby placing at risk the ramp-up of aircraft production in later years, states the “Dear Colleague” report, released on Oct. 9. The report does not note which service would lose the four F-35s in the Fiscal 2013 production lot. Sequestration would also reduce funding for the Air Force’s KC-X tanker program by $99.5 million and “potentially slow” the current engineering and manufacturing development contract, states the report. The Air Force’s future bomber program would also take a $33.7 million hit, it states. Sequestration could also disrupt military space launches as DOD would have to eliminate one evolved expendable launch vehicle from its planned buy, states the report, which HAC Ranking Member Rep. Norm Dicks (Wash.) signed. (Dear Colleague report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also report highlights and Not a Pretty Picture.)