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| November 27, 2014

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McDonnell Still Fighting Sequestration in VA

McDonnell Still Fighting Sequestration in VA

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter to President Obama on Feb. 19, 2013 urging him to follow through with his campaign promise to avert the cuts to federal spending.

The 2011 Budget Control Act that would disproportionally affect many Virginia residents especially those in the military and private defense contracting sectors.

The Defense sequestration, used as a means to combat the fiscal cliff, would cut up to $85 billion in defense funding once a finalized version would become active on March 1, 2013.  The effect from the sequestration would impact states all over the country, but would have a greater impact on Virginia. Hampton Roads has the largest concentration of military facilities in the world and around 900,000 defense workers who may loose jobs.

During the recent meetings between President Obama and Congress, Obama has been using the sequestration deadline of March 1, 2013 as a leveraging tool in order to get the two parties in Congress to agree on a better solution.

Little is known about the potential impacts of the sequestration.  Originally, the Department of Defense began to plan for the sequestration back in December 2012, a month before the original deadline of the sequestration on Jan.2, 2013.  The delay was provided by the passing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which allowed time for further negotiations between the federal government and state officials.

President Obama has been against the sequestration since the planning of the original 2011 Budget Control Act.  On Sept. 14, 2012, the White House sent out a press release stating, “the sequestration would be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments and core government functions,” and that, “The Administration strongly believes that sequestration is bad policy, and that Congress can and should take action to avoid it by passing a comprehensive and balanced deficit reduction package.”

On Feb. 20, 2013, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta released a memo to congress stating the Defense Department is prepared to implement furloughs, unpaid leaves of absence, which would go into effect in April for civilian personnel once the sequestration becomes active March 1 and would affect most DOD civilian employees.

 By: Josh Bray

Contributing Writer

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