Panetta Prepares Defense Department for Sequestration

Panetta: 'We have no choice but to prepare for the worst'


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta showed optimism that sequestration will be avoided but still discussed measures his department is taking in case Congress fails to act before the debt ceiling cliff during a press conference Thursday.

"I have asked the military services and the other components to immediately begin implementing prudent measures that will help mitigate our budget risk," Panetta said.

Among the recommendations he is asking are "steps to freeze civilian hiring, delay some contract awards and curtail maintenance," according to the Associated Press.