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House Armed Services Panel to Hear From Carter, Zients on Sequestration

Ashton Carter

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and acting White House Budget Director Jeffrey Zients are scheduled to appear before a House committee Wednesday at a hearing on sequestration, Military Times reports.

Rick Maze reports the Defense Department could take a cut ranging from $50 billion to $57 billion in fiscal year 2013 funds if sequestrationtakes effect Jan. 2.

Jeff Zients

Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) has reportedly prepared questions to Zients regarding effects of cuts on contractors, including the possibility of contracts being terminated, modified or reduced.

According to Maze’s report, McKeon also wants to ask Zients about the possibility of contractors requesting adjustments such as reductions in the number of items purchased, unit prices and parts prices.

Citing senior committee aides, Maze reports there is some confusion on Capitol Hill over whether military personnel accounts are exempt from sequestration.

Military services could reduce or eliminate incentive bonuses and special pays to offset the cuts, according to the report.

However, basic pay, food and housing allowances are exempt from sequestration and new congressional authority is required to adjust retired pay and Tricare fees.

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