CNAS’ Susanna Blume Assesses Possible Return to Sequestration

Susanna Blume

Susanna Blume, a senior fellow in the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, has said U.S. defense spending is likely to drop if Republicans retain control of the Senate and Democrats win a House majority in the midterm elections.

Blume wrote in an article published Monday that such changes in congressional leadership are expected to challenge the critical aspects of the current administration’s defense policy.

She noted that a compromise between Republican defense supporters and Democratic advocates of domestic spending helped Congress pass on time a $716B defense appropriations measure for fiscal 2019 for the first time in nine years.

Congress is likely to face difficulty reaching a compromise on a budget deal and return to sequestration if majority of Democrats secure seats in the lower chamber.

“In this case, a divided Congress could result in years of gridlock, and most relevant for DoD, a return to the budget instability that plagued the department for most of the Obama administration,” Blume wrote.

“Unstable and unpredictable toplines and late appropriations disrupt training and maintenance schedules, complicate acquisition programs, and make it extremely difficult for the department to plan,” she added.

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