Lieberman: Odds ‘overwhelming’ against sequestration cuts occurring

Lieberman’s position is not a new one — for months lawmakers and defense analysts have said it was highly unlikely that the cuts would actually occur.

But with political activity heating up in Congress over the sequestration cuts, Lieberman’s comments inject a dose of skepticism to calls from both parties about going over the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year.

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: Trump's VA pick on the ropes | White House signals it will fight for nominee | Senate panel approves opioid bill | FDA cracking down on e-cig sales to kids Trump's nominee for the VA is on the ropes Senate Health panel approves opioid bill MORE (D-Wash.) this week gave a speech saying Democrats should not reverse sequestration or extend the Bush-era tax rates at the end of the year unless Republicans agree to raise taxes on the highest-income earners.

Republicans have responded by accusing Democrats of wanting to allow job losses to occur in order to increase taxes.

The sequestration cuts last week became part of the presidential race, with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney accusing Obama of harming the military by allowing the cuts to occur.

While Lieberman said that the odds were against sequestration occurring, he emphasized the fact that the cuts still are possible, and are currently mandated by law. He argued that the brinkmanship from both sides over end-of-the-year negotiations could make them more likely.

Most believe that a solution to the sequestration cuts, whether via a delay or alternate deficit reduction, will not occur until after the election in a jam-packed lame-duck session.

Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteThe Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP Audit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years MORE (R-N.H.), who appeared at the TechAmerica event with Lieberman, looked ahead to that debate by urging Democrats not to use the military cuts for leverage.

“I don’t think that our military should be used as some kind of a political chip for other issues,” she said.