Reaction from the business world primarily focused on the possibility of $600 million in additional defense cuts.
- “There is a mistaken notion floating around Washington that even if the super committee fails to arrive at a deficit reduction agreement this is no big deal because the reductions do not go into effect until January 2013… In reality, most parts of the federal government will be impacted by sequestration from the movement it is triggered, and no department will be more severely impacted than the Pentagon.” — Dr. Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute
- “The Defense Department will need to start applying cuts to the fiscal year 2013 budget immediately and job losses will increase as the Pentagon is forced to halt work.” — Marion C. Blakey, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group representing many government contracting firms
- “The immediate ramifications for the defense industry, which will have to now plan for the worst case scenario, are dire. This becomes an issue of national security in addition to financial uncertainty. How we choose to confront and address this challenge will determine our future environment for growth and innovation.” — Dan Varroney, acting President and CEO of TechAmerica, a trade group representing many technology firms
Reaction also came from across the political spectrum. One key lawmaker also cited the possibility of voiding the possible defense cuts.
- “This is not putting a man on the moon, beating communism or starting the civil rights movement. This should be the kind of basic requirement of any elected officials that you hire to at least put the country on a sustainable fiscal path… If we don’t, you should fire us all.” — Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said Monday to students at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to a Washington Post report.
- “Congress cannot simply turn off the sequester mechanism, but instead must pass deficit reduction at least equal to the $1.2 trillion it was charged to pass under the Budget Control Act. In my four decades involved with public service, I have never been more concerned about the ability of Congress to forge common-sense solutions to the nation’s pressing problems.” — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
- “We need to keep the pressure up to compromise — not turn off the pressure. The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. That’s exactly what they need to do. That’s the job they promised to do. And they’ve still got a year to figure it out.” — President Obama
- “Now, unfortunately, America’s military is facing cuts that will devastate the armed forces and force us to break faith with service members. I do not accept that outcome. I will be introducing legislation in the coming days to prevent cuts that will do catastrophic damage to our men and women in uniform and our national security.” — Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee