Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday defended his department’s plan to cut billions of dollars in spending and said it will not create jobs.
Hagel’s comments came as the Senate is debating a $50 billion spending bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also announced a change to the Pentagon’s sublimation program, which uses lasers to melt away a layer of ice from buildings.
The Pentagon has said the sublimations could save millions of dollars, but Hagel said it is the least of its worries.
“I have no concern that we will lose any jobs because of this,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.
“I have a lot of concerns about it, but there are plenty of people who have already made good, life-changing decisions that will not be affected.”
Hagels announcement follows months of negotiations over the Pentagon budget, with the House appropriators debating how much to cut and how many people to put in the jobs cut.
Hags spending proposal calls for the Pentagon to spend less than it did in 2018, when Congress passed a defense authorization bill that included $4.8 billion for sublimating the ice.
The House plan included $8 billion to support sublimatization at military bases and other facilities and $4 billion to offset the cost of the sublaming at military facilities, the Pentagon said.
The Senate bill would instead focus on creating jobs and expanding research.