Military Matters: Fort Drum Avoids Automatic Cuts

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Averting the "fiscal cliff" means avoiding automatic cuts at Fort Drum and other military installations across the country. 

Congress voted to delay spending cuts for two months, giving lawmakers more time to come up with a compromise. 

Congressman Bill Owens (D. - 21st District) says that's good news for the north country.

"I'm hopeful that what we will see is a new piece of legislation that pulls sequestration back in its entirety but does create cuts in spending and clearly the hope is that we reduce if not eliminate the cuts to Fort Drum," he said.

Owens says the Department of Defense should be streamlined.

"There are many things that we could do in the way of management efficiency, purchasing efficiency, all types of things that would drive down the dollars spent, but not adversely affect the people we need to support," he said.

The congressman remains hopeful that Fort Drum will not be "terribly damaged" in the process of cutting the budget.

"Fort Drum is likely to be sustained in roughly the same position it's in today," said Owens.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta released a statement Wednesday saying, in part, "Hopefully, this will allow additional time to develop a balanced deficit reduction plan that would permanently prevent these arbitrary cuts."

The good news for military families is troop pay and benefits are not on the chopping block.

As for other budget cuts - it's wait and see for another two months.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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