Federal News Radio Interview with Kevin Brancato

Under the Budget Control Act passed by Congress in August 2011, automatic spending cuts will go into effect in January 2013 under a process called sequestration.  But the law does not provide specifics on how those cuts are to be implemented.  Bloomberg Government Defense Analyst Kevin Brancato dives into this subject, and the direct impact on Defense Department programs, on Federal News Radio.

One interpretation of the law would be to cut every single program by the same amount, roughly 13 percent. The other interpretation of the act is that overall spending would need to be reduced by 13 percent but the Pentagon could pick and choose the programs to cut, stated Kevin Brancato, on The Federal Drive show with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

Cutting every single program by the same amount presents an inherent difficulty for the Department of Defense, according to Brancato.  Across-the-board cuts would be extremely complicated to implement since every contract and weapons program would have to be canceled, modified or renegotiated, a timely and expensive process, especially in the middle of a fiscal year.  But how the government and the Department of Defense are planning to implement the cuts is not clear.

In the end, “The President, Congress, military leaders, industry — nobody wants sequestration,” Brancato said. “They just haven’t agreed on a way to avoid it.” In all likelihood, however, a resolution to avoid sequestration will not occur before the election.

Listen to the full interview.