Two weeks ago our own Russell Rumbaugh began a commentary on sequester by observing that:
Despite the bickering over the effects of sequester on defense, almost everyone agrees defense sequester should be waived.
A recent hearing of the House Armed Services Committee demonstrated just that. Committee members of both parties were unanimous in lambasting sequester as harmful to national security. Chairman Buck McKeon stressed that
[Sequestration] was supposed to be so terrible it could never be actually put into place.
Indeed - the goal was to force a compromise on government-wide spending and revenue. Defense was intentionally wedged in tight to create pressure for that revenue/spending deal.
That last insight is especially important. Congress rarely fills its time with hearings in which participants on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the dais agree. Nor did they this time. Beneath the consensus about the irresponsibility of sequester is a hardened dispute about the revenue/spending balance. Defense is not the crux of this disagreement - its an incentive to resolve it, just as Russell emphasized in his piece.