Both parties have indicated opposition to the sequestration process that Congress created last summer as part of its debt-ceiling agreement. Several Republicans have argued against the automatic defense cuts that would take place under sequestration, while Democrats oppose the cuts to non-defense, discretionary spending.

"That is the worst possible way to do it," Dicks said of the automatic cuts. He added that while a deal can be reached, it may only be reached after November.

"It may be after the election," he said. "But I know there are people working on it, as we speak, to come up with a plan."

In December, House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan Cantor737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority Top-level turnover sparks questions about Chamber MORE (R-Va.) said he hopes that both parties can reach the $1.2 trillion in required cuts over 10 years through an agreement that would avoid what many Republicans have called devastating cuts to defense spending.