I'm not sure we needed any more examples of how little Ann Marie Buerkle does to fight for Central New York, but she just gave us another one anyways.
Hundreds of local workers find their jobs in jeopardy because the House Appropriations Committee "rejected the Pentagon's $400.8 million budget request for a missile defense program that has supported 235 jobs at Lockheed Martin's plant at Electronics Park in Salina." This program is a valuable cooperative effort among a number of allied countries to design more advanced defensive measures.
The danger to this program was first made clear last year when Representatives from states that build a competing product began attacking the project. Instead of fighting for Central New York jobs, the Post-Standard reported that, "Buerkle said she is aware of the economic impact on Central New York. "But at the same time we have to look at what's best for our country and the best use of taxpayer dollars," said Buerkle,who has not taken sides in the debate."
Now that the cuts have come to fruition, Rep. Buerkle is claiming that she is fighting the good fight, but that is a day late and a dollar short. We needed her to fight for this program when the threat first appeared. Her ambivalence and delay have cost this project a needed ally, and it may have cost these workers their jobs.
This same program came under threat when I was in office, and we worked hard to make sure it wasn't cut. I spoke repeatedly with the Department of Defense and Secretary McHugh, and we worked closely with the Appropriations Committee to do our best to keep these jobs in Syracuse. Fighting for your district is just part of the job description.
I hope that New York's Senators are able to restore funding for this important program, and that Rep. Buerkle will start fighting for Central New York. We can't afford to wait.