President Signs Defense Bill, Calm Does Not Reign
After well over a year of genuine concern, misplaced worry, fear mongering, and, of course, partisan bickering, the defense sequestration portion of the Budget Control Act of 2011 appears to be behind the U.S. Now Americans can get together and really solve the nation’s problems. Just kidding! It’s only been delayed for two months while Congress and the executive retool their talking points for the predicted debt-ceiling fight.
President Obama signed a $633 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last week, though he rued certain portions of the bill. But with no line-item veto available, the NDAA is now law. Not exactly what the kids learn on Schoolhouse Rock.
For the defense sector, it may seem that this is the proverbial kicking of the can. Some say that’s the case, while others contend that last week’s tax deal indicates that the sequester really won’t occur. Regardless, expect to hear the word “uncertainty” with great regularity. The aerospace industry seems especially miffed. Moreoever, should these cuts actually go into effect (cue ominous music), according to Pentagon spokesman George Little, they will be more severe as a result of the two-month delay.
While it still seems unlikely that politically unpopular and childish-in-execution sequestration cuts will ever go into effect, at this point assumptions on governmental efficacy are, to put it mildly, questionable. We’ll keep you updated…