Panetta, Dempsey Defend Military Budget Plan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the nation's top military leader are defending the Pentagon's slimmed-down, $614 billion budget, telling senators it's time to show they are serious about reducing the deficit.

Panetta tells the Senate Armed Services Committee the cuts have been carefully planned and there's little room for changes. He cautions that the reductions will hit all 50 states.

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey says the reductions will not lead to a military in decline, but rather will help the armed forces maintain their decisive edge and "help sustain America's global leadership."

The two are testifying before a House panel the day after President Barack Obama's budget was unveiled. They're joined there by the Pentagon's comptroller, Robert Hale.

All three are certain to meet resistance from lawmakers who have expressed concerns about cuts undermining the country's national security.

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