U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), all members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today regarding the impending across-the-board defense sequestration cuts that, unless Congress and the Administration act, will begin on January 2, 2013:
"We commend the National Association of Manufacturers on releasing its new report. Given Secretary Panetta's repeated warnings and the grave threat sequestration poses to our troops and our national security, we cannot wait until after the election to stop these cuts. NAM's report is a wakeup call to Congress and the Administration that we must act now, or we risk dangerously undermining our national security and causing the loss of more than one million good American jobs."
The new National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) report finds that the budget caps and sequestration cuts beginning on January 2, 2013, will result in the following:
More than 1 million private sector jobs, including 130,000 manufacturing jobs, will be lost in 2014;
GDP will be almost 1 percent lower by 2014;
Total job losses will increase unemployment by 0.7 percent.
NAM's report echoes similar findings in recent studies by the Aerospace Industries Association, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Center for Security Policy.
On Thursday, at the National Press Club, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, "One [of] my greatest concerns as secretary is the dysfunction that we see in Washington." Referring to the impending defense sequestration cuts and the inability of the Administration and Congress thus far to find a solution, Secretary Panetta said, "It threatens our security and it raises questions about the capacity of our democracy to respond to crisis." Secretary Panetta said, "The Department of Defense is facing a crisis What I fear -- and I think this is a real fear -- is that both Republicans and Democrats alike will simply kick the can down the road."