The threat of sequestration, the name applied to across-the-board budget cuts, has had many lawmakers concerned about what could happen to the Armed Forces. Now, some legislators say the possibility of a 100,000-troop reduction should make the Department of Defense (DoD) immune from the budget slashes, Military Times reports.
The new concerns come after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at a hearing that sequestration could have a substantial impact on unemployment among veterans. Rep. Buck McKeon echoed the worry, saying that the additional troop cuts, on top of ones that are already planned, may be too much.
"We know that there's high unemployment among our veterans, our young veterans, and we know that, with the $487 billion cut in defense, we will have 100,000 leaving the military," McKeon said at the hearing, according to the publication. "We will have another 100,000 if the sequestration takes effect.
There are a few ways to avoid the troop level reductions. Lawmakers have to come together to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, or the White House can exempt military personnel cuts in light of reductions to other DoD programs.