Automatic federal budget cuts set in motion last year by the U.S. Congress could have a “debilitating” effect on the Navy’s readiness for the next two years. In fact, the impact is already being felt — and the automatic “sequestration” is still two weeks away.
The Navy stands to lose 13 percent of its funding starting March 1, unless the Congress and Pres. Barack Obama can agree on a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit, which after the 2008 economic crisis rose to a staggering $1 trillion or more annually — though it has shrunk by hundreds of billions of dollars in 2012 as the economy recovered.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the Democratic Senate and the president, also a Democrat, designed sequestration in 2011 as a means of prodding themselves into crafting a plan for reducing the deficit.