The senators, led by Sen. John McCainJohn McCainEx-Bush aide Nicolle Wallace to host MSNBC show Meghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Top commander: Don't bet on China reining in North Korea MORE (R-Ariz.), say in a letter sent to the contractors last week that the administration’s “apparent unwillingness to conduct any meaningful analysis or planning for sequestration is alarming.”
Among the questions in the letter:
- What’s the number and dollar value of contracts that could be terminated or restructured?
- When do contractors expect to have to issue layoff notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act?
- Has there been a slowdown in new contracts “attributable to the uncertainty of funding available” because of the threat of sequestration?
- What’s the impact of sequestration on capital and research investments and recruiting?
Most Democrats and Republicans, as well as the Obama administration, want to stop the automatic cuts, which were included in last year’s Budget Control Act. However, the two parties have deep disagreements about how to find the alternative revenue to do so.
Many don’t expect movement until after the November election, and the latest tactic from defense hawks has been to try to gather evidence about how bad sequestration would be.
In the letter, signed by McCain and Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.), Jim InhofeJames InhofeTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations Optimism rising for infrastructure deal Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate MORE (R-Okla.), Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteBottom Line How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle THE MEMO: Trump set to notch needed win with Gorsuch MORE (R-N.H.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTop admiral: North Korea crisis is 'worst I've seen' Comey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record MORE (R-S.C.) and John CornynJohn CornynSenate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' McConnell: Senate will pass short-term funding bill to avoid shutdown The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Texas), the senators tout the amendment that passed the Senate requiring the administration to explain the impact of sequestration in three reports.
That amendment, which passed on the Senate's farm bill, still must pass the House to become law.
Stevens, who is leaving his Lockheed post at the end of the year, has also called on the administration to explain sequestration more clearly. At a media day Q&A last month where Stevens made the layoffs threat, he said the industry was in a “fog of uncertainty” because of sequestration.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has been one of the loudest voices about the “devastating” impact sequestration would have, provided McCain and Graham a similar assessment on the impact of sequestration to the Pentagon back in November.