In a recent briefing at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed his top four priorities for Congress in the coming months. He wants legislators to focus on passing Pentagon policy and appropriations bills, cybersecurity laws and confirming generals. However, above all else he called on Congress to avoid the deep spending cuts slated to take place on January 2, reports Army Times.
Averting the cuts, known as sequestration, has been a priority for Panetta all year, and in his remarks he highlighted the closing window Congress has to reach a budget deal. Lawmakers are currently on recess until the November 6 elections, and then they only have until the end of the year.
"There are only 70 days until that happens and Congress is certainly on the clock when it comes to that potential sequestration occurring," Panetta told reporters.
While sequestration gets a great deal of the attention, Panetta has also raised concerns when it comes the cybersecurity capabilities of the United States. Earlier in October, he stressed the importance of new, aggressive policy toward cyber attacks, reports Army Times.