Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wire: Dem. Senator Says to Expect Painful Cuts in Pentagon Budget

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2009 -- Newswires reported today that a Senate defense committee chairman says the new Pentagon budget will include large, painful cuts.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said Tuesday that major program cuts will not be pushed off until the 2011 budget, but will be included when Defense Secretary Robert Gates sends his spending plan to the president later this month, according to an Associated Press story.

AP reported that Levin's comments confirmed what many contractors and military leaders have expected, but he offered scant details on which programs may be axed.

The Michigan Democrat also told reporters at a breakfast meeting that he is reserving judgment on whether the multi-billion-dollar contract for replacement of the Air Force's aging refueling tankers should go to one company or be split between two rival bidders, AP also reported.

The Air Force selected Northrop Grumman/EADS over competitor Boeing Co. for the aerial tanker project last year, but reopened the bidding after the Government Accounting Office took issue with the decision.

(Report from a commercial news source.)

Source: Senator: Expect painful cuts in Pentagon budget

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