Inhofe tells military 'do not hold back' ahead of Senate hearing
BY Staff Reports
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
2/12/13 at 10:46 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe urged witnesses at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday morning to paint as stark a picture as possible of the impact sequestration and other looming budget cuts will have on the nation's military.
"Do not hold back," Inhofe told a panel of high-ranking military officers and Defense Department officials.
A combination of factors, including the process known as sequestration, threatens to drastically undermine U.S. forces, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday morning.
Sequestration, which requires Defense Department spending cuts of about 10 percent, is now scheduled to go into effect March 1.
"This hearing is absolutely critical to allow the Joint Chiefs (of Staff) to provide their frank and honest assessments about the impact to their services, the loss of capabilities and readiness, and the mismatch between resources and strategy," Inhofe said during his opening statement.
Inhofe said the sequestration deadline should be delayed until Oct. 1, giving Congress and the Obama administration another six months to work out a budget -- something that has not happened in more than four years.
Later, Inhofe asked the military officers -- including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey -- to supply additional information on how many lives they believe would be lost through reduced readiness and training.
"Readiness equals risk equals lives," said Inhofe.
Senate Armed Services Committee members, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., left, accompanied by the ranking Republican on the committee, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., last month. SUSAN WALSH/AP File Photo