Joint Chiefs to testify on sequester

The across-the-board sequestration cuts would reduce the Pentagon’s 2013 budget by about $45 billion, which the Joint Chiefs have warned would lead to a “hollow force.”

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They sent a letter to the leaders of the Armed Services Committees last month warning about the dangers of the sequester cuts last month and urging Congress to take action.

“The readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point,” the military leaders wrote.

The hearing comes as President Obama has called for a short-term solution to delay the cuts with a mix of revenues and spending cuts. Republicans are mostly opposed to including additional revenues in a plan to replace the sequester.

A group senior Obama advisers met Wednesday with executives from several top defense firms, including Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, BAE Systems, Aurora Flight Sciences and ITT Exelis.

In Congress, a group of seven House and Senate GOP defense hawks are joining together to unveil an alternative plan Wednesday to avert the first year of sequestration by cutting the federal workforce 10 percent over the next decade through attrition, according to a committee aide.

Similar proposals were also introduced in the last Congress by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Calif.), but they failed to gain traction in either chamber.