Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., warned Monday that congressional budget cuts could shortchange the U.S. military and its suppliers – as well as America’s security.
“We don’t want to go to the point where it endangers the companies that have enabled us to protect our nation and to keep our nation going forward,” Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told news media after a tour of ITT Exelis in Fort Wayne.
The freshman senator from Granger said ongoing budget reductions known as sequestration should be “in spending across much of the federal spectrum” and “just not focused on defense and on (social) service programs. … It’s something we have to fix and we have to do in a better way.”
Sequestration has trimmed $37 billion from Pentagon spending in fiscal 2013 and will chop $52 billion more in fiscal 2014 under the Budget Control Act. Without congressional action, the law would slash $1.2 trillion in federal spending over 10 years, nearly half of it from the Department of Defense.
His Monday morning visit was Donnelly’s first to ITT Exelis, which manufactures military communications equipment and weather satellite parts at plants along Cook Road west of Lima Road. The stop kicked off a three-day “Serving Those Who Serve” tour of Indiana businesses, a Purdue University rocket laboratory and the Air National Guard base in Terre Haute.
Donnelly said U.S troops “have come home safe because of the products that have been built” by ITT Exelis.
Federal spending reductions are delaying the awarding of Department of Defense contracts but have not caused layoffs at the local operation, which employs 1,165 people, according to ITT Exelis officials.
“Some of our products are really determined on how big that (military) force structure is going to be and how quickly they are going to field those products,” Jennifer Schoonover, vice president and general manager of communications solutions, said in an interview.
Company spokesman Tim White said sequestration is so far affecting ITT Exelis “in terms of being able to plan for the future.”
White and Schoonover said Monday’s visit by Donnelly was so the senator could familiarize himself with the plants.It's really becoming difficult to even watch mainstream news media reports on international events as their reports morph into nothing more than a propaganda arm of the military/industrial complex. Think about this. President Obama draws a red line in the sand and says that if Syria uses weapons of mass destruction, there will be a military response. At the same time he makes this declaration, our own government is engaged in arming a band of terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda, the terrorist group on which we have blamed 9/11 and so many other dastardly terrorist events in our never-ending thirst for war in the Middle East, in an effort to overthrow the Syrian government. Shortly after a band of these terrorists overrun a chlorine factory in Syria, we learn that chlorine is used in the civil war. Our government tried to blame the Assad regime for using weapons of mass destruction, but most of the victims of the attack were Syrian soldiers. Fortunately, a UN team of investigators found that it was chlorine used in the attack, not deadly chemicals.
Flash forward a few more months after the overwhelming body of evidence begins to suggest that the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic post had nothing to do with the offensive video on which our government tried to blame the attack and had more to do with the fact that the facility was nothing more than a CIA arms-running center where renditions were being conducted on so-called terrorists being detained there. Hundreds of ground-to-air missiles were seized by the terrorists during the attack. On August 21, another attack occurs in Syria where chemical weapons were supposedly used. At first they claimed a few dozen people were killed. Now that death toll has been raised to more than 1,000. Our government immediately started blaming the Syrian government despite the lack of evidence. As UN inspectors arrived in the country, Secretary of State John Kerry declares that the U.S. has "undeniable evidence" that the Assad government was responsible for the attack despite the presence of pro-Syrian forces in the area of the attack. WND has obtained video footage showing the American-backed rebels loading nerve gas canisters onto rockets and firing them into an area populated with civilians and Syrian troops.
As the UN inspectors arrived at the invitation of the Syrian government, their vehicles were fired upon by snipers. The sniper attacks appear to be the work of the American-backed rebels. The U.S. and its allies are moving quickly towards a full-blown war in the country before the UN inspectors can ascertain what really happened and without bothering to request a declaration of war by Congress. The U.S. government says the arrival of the UN inspection team is "too little, too late." In other words, let's get the war started before someone figures out the truth. Remember how our government used so-called impeccable evidence to claim Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction our military never found after invading the country as an excuse for launching a war against it? Ironically, newly-released CIA documents prove our own government's complicity in Hussein's use of nerve gas agents against Iranians during Iraq's long-running war with that country back in the 1980s.