Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Budget Agreement
Last night, I spoke with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray to thank them for their work to achieve a bipartisan budget agreement. The deal they reached reduces the impact of sequestration cuts and provides the Department of Defense with greater budget certainty, which is important for us to be able to plan effectively. While this agreement doesn't solve every budget problem facing DoD, it will help address our military readiness challenge by restoring funding for training and procurement - especially in fiscal year 2014.
The Department of Defense has been warning about the impact of sequestration's steep, deep, and abrupt cuts for months, and I'm pleased that Congress has been willing to work in a bipartisan manner to limit its worst impacts. I urge Congress to promptly act on a balanced agreement.
Tough decisions will still be necessary going forward in order to achieve the right balance in military capacity, capabilities, and readiness. The Department of Defense will need more flexibility, and we will continue to look to Congress as a vital partner in our efforts to realign priorities and address needed reforms in areas like military compensation in order to maximize our military's fighting strength.