The defense industry is finding that its warnings about job losses and threats to security aren't having the effect on Congress and the public that they once did, and are working harder to deliver the message that sequestration cuts must be stopped. It's programs such as Medicaid and Social Security, not defense, that are driving national spending, defense backers argue. "If we come at it and look at the real cost drivers in our budget, both now and in the future, that's what really needs to be addressed at the end of the day," says Christian Marrone, the Aerospace Industries Association vice president for national security and acquisition policy.

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