DOD to plan for possible deep spending cuts

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a House committee that the Defense Department would start planning this summer for potential automatic spending cuts from a budget crisis if Congress doesn't act, Defense News reports.

If Congress fails to raise $1.2 trillion, automatic spending cuts would start in January 2013, including an additional $500 billion cut automatically from DOD, the article noted.

Panetta said DOD was not doing any planning now for additional defense cuts, with the hopes that Congress would work out a larger deficit-reduction plan that would replace a so-called "sequester" of money, the story said.

"There is not a hell of a lot of planning I can do,” because sequestration would make automatic and equally distributed cuts across DOD accounts, using a “meat-axe” approach, he said at a House Budget Committee hearing, the story said.

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