Schriever leaders recall sequestration impacts

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  • 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

“If the Budget Control Act limit isn’t fixed and we have to go through sequester, that will be equivalent to a $15 billion cut.  We’re too small for what the nation expects of us now, sequestration would make the situation worse.”

The Secretary of the Air Force made that statement earlier this year during her budget testimony and prompted Schriever leaders to recall how sequestration impacted the base and its operations in 2013.

“We ended up cutting $8.5 million during the year,” said Maj. Stephen Cash, 50th Comptroller Squadron commander. "This included reducing or eliminating non-mission critical temporary duty assignments and supplies, eliminating contracts that supported our community and de-scoping several mission contracts."

It should be noted that sequestration and continuing resolution are different. 

Continuing Resolutions are individual public laws passed by Congress and signed by the president. The CR allows federal agencies to continue operations at a level or rate that does not exceed the prior year. It doesn’t allow for the start of new programs that were not ongoing in the previous years, an increase in scope of ongoing programs or to restart programs previously denied by Congress.

Sequestration is an across-the-board spending cut. It refers to automatic spending cuts that occur through the withdrawal of funding for certain (but not all) government programs. The Congressional Budget Office provides estimates of the statutory caps on discretionary funding and an assessment of whether sequestration might be necessary under current budgetary rules, but the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget makes the ultimate determination of whether a sequestration is necessary and, if so, how big it should be.

“We will continue to execute the mission within the spending constraints of the continuing resolution,” Cash said. “We are prepared to follow the guidance of our leadership, continue our mission here at Schriever and take care of our people.”

Adversaries are modernizing and innovating faster than we are, risking America’s technological advantage in air and space. A continuing resolution longer than three months poses numerous challenges to these programs.

The Air Force requires a stable and predictable budget in order to innovate as needed in the space and cyber domains, both of which Schriever Airmen navigate within on a daily basis.

Success today and into the future is about our Airmen and their readiness to do what the nation asks.  Our greatest investment in readiness is also our most important - our people.