Sequestration and the Military

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Sequestration is part of the Budget Control Act that mandates $1.2 trillion in cuts across federal agencies to include $500 million to the military over the next decade. Congress wrote sequestration into legislation to provide motivation for Congress to agree to a deficit reduction plan to replace the federal spending cuts. When they failed to reach such an agreement, sequestration was triggered on March 1.

The sequester will stretch across all four services of the military to include family programs. Only pay and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been exempted by President Obama from the cuts associated with sequestration. Military leaders have little flexibility in applying the cuts because the law mandates the Defense Department absorb a 9 percent cut across all  programs.

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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunford Jr., looks on. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

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A soldier from the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, clears an alleyway Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, while an insurgent lurks ahead during an exercise at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. Jon Harper/Stars and Stripes

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U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, fly overhead. (Army photo)

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