The defense rests

Preston Abrams' mother tries to comfort him as the boy  gets upset while saying good-bye to his dad, during a send off for the 1-214 Field Artillery in Elberton, Ga., on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The 1-214 Field Artillery will leave Elberton for Mississippi on Feb. 26, 2013 and then deploy to Afghanistan.  AP | The Athens Banner-Herald, AJ Reynolds

Preston Abrams’ mother tries to comfort him as the boy says good-bye to his dad, a member of the 1-214 Field Artillery in Elberton, Ga., during a send-off on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The 1-214 Field Artillery will be deployed to Afghanistan.
AP | The Athens Banner-Herald


It’s a three-day weekend, do you know where your lawmaker is?

On Friday, Congress got out of Dodge for nine days, and the president took off for a weekend getaway with golf buddies in Florida. Is there time left to dodge the deep cuts when the sequester kicks in on March 1?

The defense industry thinks not, The Hill’s Defense Blog reported on Sunday. In fact, the Aerospace Industries Association, the lobby shouting loudest to stop the sequester, is switching tactics, according to The Hill, a congressional newspaper that publishes when Congress is in session.

Instead of issuing warnings about what would  happen if the defense cuts take effect, the AIA is going to issue reports on what is happening as the cuts hit, e.g., nearly 800,000 civilian Pentagon workers may be furloughed.

“The fight’s not over. When sequestration goes into effect on March 1, we don’t shrivel up and die — we just get louder,” said AIA spokesman Dan Stohr.

“We’re trying to strategize how we want to approach this in a way that really raises the volume in an effective way and convinces Congress that they need to do something about this as soon as possible.”

The defense contractors remain upbeat.

Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute who consults for defense firms, told The Hill that contractors  believe the sequester will end quickly.

“The industry’s view is that sequestration will trigger as scheduled on March 1, but from that point onward, members will be so inundated with complaints from their constituents that it won’t last very long,” Thompson said. “What industry has figured out is that until members start hearing from their constituents, there’s not much pressure to change the course they’re on.”