GUAM – Despite a flurry of last-minute proposals and meetings to hammer out a bipartisan deficit reduction plan, the super committee looks set to fail its mandate and miss its Nov. 23 deadline for a deal. The missed deadline to agree on a plan for shrinking the U.S. deficit by at least $1.2 trillion will trigger across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense spending, with the Pentagon taking the biggest hit.
Although the sequester cuts won’t take effect until Jan. 2013, they will throw the Guam military buildup and other defense programs into limbo at least until the elections next November. The sequester would shrink the Pentagon’s budget by almost $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
If sequestration leads to a revision of national security strategy – as the Pentagon has said it would – its impact on the Guam buildup would dwarf the current tussle over 2012 appropriations and defense authorizations.
The Senate wants to delay another $155 million for buildup-related military construction and $33 million for associated civilian infrastructure in the overdue spending package and authorizations for fiscal year 2012. Meanwhile, stressing the importance of securing a volatile Asia and upholding the U.S.-Japan alliance, the Obama Administration, the Pentagon and the House of Representatives all continue to push back on Senate opposition to the buildup.
For the latest on the deficit super committee, read this report from The Hill: Deficit supercommittee members expected to announce failure.
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