Written by SHARLA TORRE MONTVEL-COHEN
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
GUAM – The super committee conceded Monday in Washington that it will not meet its Wednesday deadline to submit a deficit reduction plan, setting the nation on a path to across-the-board budget cuts to U.S. domestic and defense programs, affecting budgets for ten years beginning in fiscal year 2013. The failure could cast a yearlong freeze in the military buildup program meant to prepare Guam to base thousands of Marines from Okinawa.President Obama called for Congress to rally nonetheless before the so-called "sequester mechanism" would be triggered this January, saying that super committee's failure should not prevent Capitol Hill from still producing a balanced deficit reduction plan before then.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta joined Mr. Obama to keep the pressure on lawmakers to use the next few weeks to yet hammer out an agreement that will produce a strategy-driven plan that would block indiscriminate across-the-board slashing. Allowing sequestration would "tear a seam in the nation's defense," Mr. Panetta said earlier this week. A broad deficit-reduction plan would avoid cutting another $500 billion to $600 billion from defense spending over 10 years.
Without a plan before January, the nation can expect a yearlong legislative battle – complicated by a presidential election next November – over whether and how to find a way around the automatic cuts.
For more on the consequences of the super committee's failure, read these two stories:
Obama, Panetta Urge Congress to Formulate Budget Plan (at the Defense Department website)
Analysis: Fallout from deficit-reduction panel failure (Reuters)
- 01/12/2011 09:12 - Japanese Defense Minister Disciplines Official, Apologizes to Okinawans, Tries to Regain Momentum for Futenma Replacement Air Base
- 30/11/2011 15:32 - Latest Drawback in Tokyo’s Quest to Build Understanding with Okinawans on Marine Basing Issue
- 29/11/2011 09:38 - Senate Democrats Aim to Solve 2012 Appropriations, Including Military Construction for Guam, Through Omnibus Spending Bill in December
- 28/11/2011 10:37 - Pentagon Caught in Chess Game: While Obama Moves to Force a Deficit Deal, Republican Defense Hawks Rally to Undo Trigger Cuts; More Waiting for Guam Military Buildup
- 25/11/2011 11:08 - Temporary Budget Extensions Add to Guam Military Buildup Planning Headaches
- 21/11/2011 19:02 - Deficit Committee Expected to Fail; Sets Up Year More of Limbo for Guam Military Buildup
- 14/11/2011 06:14 - Secretary Clinton, Japan’s Gemba Stress Futenma Replacement Will Proceed; Panetta and Dempsey Call on Congress to Solve Budget
- 12/11/2011 16:59 - Guam Company Wins $7 Million Tree Trimming and Grounds Maintenance Contract for Various Military Facilities
- 10/11/2011 14:44 - As Super Committee Democrats Reject Latest Republican Deal, Panetta Calls on Congress to ‘Show Some Leadership’
- 08/11/2011 08:01 - Impact of Significant Pentagon Cuts: Secretary Panetta Says Asia-Pacific Presence a Priority, Confirms Commitment to “Establishment of an Operational Marine Presence on Guam”