But the administration has yet to detail publicly how these cuts would affect the companies that produce the military equipment so vital to the survival of our troops and the security of our nation. Employers need to know whether or not the Pentagon is anticipating pulling the plug on their contracts so they can send out layoff notices, as required by law.
The take in Washington is that the White House doesn't want those pink slips going out until after the election. But that's not all they are hiding from us.
When the Pentagon backs out of contracts, it often has to pay hefty termination fees. That means that we, the taxpayers, wind up shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars to close down production lines ... and get nothing in return.
Further, the administration hasn't told us how this will affect the military-industrial base. What defense manufacturing capabilities will be lost? When the Pentagon gets around to buying more stuff in the future, will it be more expensive because companies had to idle their plants and send home their workers?
All Americans -- whether they want more defense, less defense, or different defense -- have the right to know what kind of defense the president is giving them. The White House's response is: Wait 'til after the election, and we'll tell you. The only thing transparent about that answer is that this secrecy exists to satisfy a political objective, not a national security purpose.
A bipartisan bill now before Congress would require the Pentagon to report, by mid-August, exactly how defense programs will be affected by the automatic cuts. That seems like a reasonable first step to letting Americans know what their government is up to.
Examiner Columnist James Jay Carafano is a senior research fellow for national security at the Heritage Foundation.