Sec. Panetta: Look Beyond Pentagon for Budget Cuts

DoD photo: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey

Congress must look beyond cutting the Defense Department’s budget in trying to attain fiscal responsibility, Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday.

Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with students at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington. Frank Sesno, former CNN correspondent, moderated the discussion.

Both the Defense and State Departments face budget cuts as a result of the debt ceiling compromise Aug. 2.

According to AFPS, Panetta said the Pentagon can handle the $350 million savings mandated in the debt deal. If Congress can not agree on further savings, the Pentagon faces a $500 billion cut.

“We recognize that we’re in a resource limitation here, and that we got to deal we’ve those challenges,” Panetta said. “But I don’t think you have to choose between our national security and fiscal responsibility.”

Panetta has previously warned against “hasty” cuts to the defense budget.

Click here to watch the full discussion at Fort McNair.

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