Aside from that, a House Armed Services hearing Thursday with the Pentagon comptroller and the services' vice chiefs devolved into finger-pointing between Republicans and Democrats. No resolution emerged to avert $55 billion in cuts to a defense budget of roughly $600 billion, beginning Jan. 2.
Republicans blamed President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate. Democrats argued that the GOP has to be willing to consider increases in revenues through taxes.
Pentagon comptroller Robert Hale said the cuts would degrade the military's ability to respond quickly to emerging crises. But he said officials would implement the cuts the best way they can.