Senators clash over deeper defense cuts

Leading senators on the Senate Budget Committee clashed Feb. 28 over whether the Defense Department could stand deeper budget cuts, while defense officials warned that more reductions would hurt military effectiveness, Lolita Baldor reports for the Associated Press.

Sen. Kent Conrad (ND), the Democratic committee chairman, said more savings must be found in the core defense budget, and that it would be impossible to deal with the nation's deficit without doing so, the article said.

The panel's top Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), said the budget can't be balanced only with DOD cuts and the escalating costs of entitlement programs must be dealt with, the story continued.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senators that although he can find the planned savings of $487 billion during the next 10 years, more cuts would hurt the military's ability to meet future threats, the story also said.

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