National Security

Mattis Blasts Congress for Sequestration’s Effect on Military Readiness

Secretary of Defense James Mattis blasted Congress this week for sequestration's devastating effect on America's military readiness.

Mattis testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Monday and testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. In both instances, Mattis spoke of the calamitous effects that congressional-imposed sequestration has had on the military.

"Despite the tremendous efforts of this committee, Congress as a whole has met the present challenge with lassitude, not leadership," Mattis told both committees.

The retired Marine Corps general said the slashes to the Department of Defense's budget have done more harm than enemy forces.

"No enemy in the field has done more to harm the combat readiness of our military than sequestration," Mattis said on Monday and Tuesday.

Mattis said during Tuesday's hearing that Congress had damaged its position on oversight.

"In the past, by failing to pass a budget on time or to eliminate the threat of sequestration, Congress sidelined itself from its active constitutional oversight role," Mattis said.