Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wednesday questioned the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the impact of sequestration on the military's ability to fulfill its missions and meet growing threats around the world. Wicker is also a member of the Senate Budget Committee.
In a press release from his office Wednesday, Senator Wicker said the clock is ticking as more defense funding cuts loom. “We have a debt problem in this country,” Wicker said. “We are balancing a spending problem we have in the government overall with a lack of funds in the Defense Department." Wicker also said, "the Navy has the fewest ships in its inventory since World War I. As an Air Force veteran, it is astonishing to hear that this is the smallest Air Force since the department was created in 1947.”
In regard to sequestration, Wicker asked the panel, “If we were able to give you flexibility within the funding levels and some relief from the rules, to what extent would that help?”
The military officials expressed their desire for flexibility and predictability in relation to funding levels, as well as the need for additional resources to increase readiness and meet strategic needs.