When sequestration was enacted in March, it triggered $34 billion in across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon budget, and unless lawmakers repeal the process, the Department of Defense will experience even more significant reductions next year. The DOD could see about $20 billion in additional cuts in 2014, which would account for about 10 percent below the budget that was approved just six months ago, The Associated Press reports.
These cuts can be avoided if members of Congress come to an agreement on how to best reduce the deficit. Recently, legislators from both parties met with White House officials to discuss the issues, but by all accounts very little progress was made. However, with the news that the Pentagon will suffer even greater cuts in 2014 coming to the forefront, it may encourage some greater action on Capitol Hill, Washington insiders say.
"This is the primary motivator for undoing sequestration," Jennifer Hing, spokeswoman for House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, told the AP. "Defense will take an enormous hit and it will not be something they can absorb overnight."
More recently, the Pentagon has been looking to cut $900 million by the end of Sept. 30. DOD officials say they may have to ask civilian workers to take six to eight unpaid days to help defray the costs, Military.com reports.