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William Lynn: Sequestration is a ‘Real’ Possibility

Secretary of Defense_LynnFormer Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn visited the studio of Pentagon Solutions with Francis Rose and confirmed the possibility of sequestration taking place, reports Jack Moore for Federal News Radio.

People thought a few months ago that there was no way sequestration would actually happen but that outlook has shifted as evidenced by DoD’s preparations, he said.

The Defense Department is currently preparing plans for various strategies of budget cuts such as furloughing its civilian workforce one day a week for the rest of the fiscal year.

Lynn added that sequestration carries the deadly combination of deep cuts across all programs, projects and activities in one swoop.

Some lawmakers are now suggesting reprogramming as a solution for agencies- if sequestration would take effect, he mentioned.

Reprogramming would allow agencies to re-appropriate their funds from one line item to another. However, this is only possible with authorization from Congressional oversight committees.

Lynn compared the situation to a slow-moving trainwreck and explained that the impact of sequestration wouldn’t be immediately felt on March 1.

However, the changes would be permanent and long-lasting such as the weakening of troop readiness, he added.

According to the article, sequestration is seen as the latest and most destructive fiscal change in DoD’s history.

Strategists are trying to match the budget with the DoD’s structure for defense strategy, weapons systems development and supplementary training which take years to install and execute.

However, the constant changes with the budget every 6 to 12 months make the creation of a coherent and stable program difficult, if not impossible, Lynn said.

Lynn added that a possible extension to the short-term continuing resolution for the rest of the fiscal year would only prevent agencies from repurposing their respective budgets.

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