YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Looming across-the-board budget cuts could break contracts and cause higher prices for ships and planes, the U.S. Navy's top civilian leader said Wednesday.
Speaking to sailors at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said the $55 billion in congressionally mandated cuts through the sequestration process were "mindless," Stars and Stripes reported.
The sequestration cuts would result in decreased readiness, Mabus said, because ships would no longer to have maintenance performed at regular periods. Instead, repairs would have to be done "on the fly," he said.
Such repairs would be more costly and of lesser quality, Mabus claimed.
U.S. President Barack Obama blamed congressional Republicans for not agreeing to a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases created by closing tax loopholes.
GOP leaders say the president is blocking a bipartisan compromise.
Congress isn't scheduled to return from its current recess until four days after the mandated cuts take effect.