Congressman Mike Turner responded to the White House's report detailing what would be cut if sequestration goes into effect. Turner, who voted against the Budget Control Act which set up these cuts, has been sounding the alarm on how it will impact both jobs and our nation's defense.
"What this report details is what we have all feared and have been hearing for months -- these cuts are real and would be absolutely devastating to both jobs and our national security. Facilities like Wright-Patt, the Lima Tank Plant, and many more across Ohio will be indiscriminately slashed by nearly 10 percent. It is time for the President to lead and come to the table and negotiate with Congress," said Turner.
As indicated by the report, there would be a 9.4 percent cut to most defense programs, except those exempted by the law. Further, there is a 10 percent cut to other Pentagon accounts that are not subject to annual appropriations by Congress. Turner has joined the House in passing two bills to stave off these cuts. In May, Turner voted in favor of the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (H.R. 5652). This bill would have replaced the FY 2013 sequestration with legislation that would, save $55 billion over five years, and save $237 billion over ten years. This week, Turner joined the House in passing the National Security and Job Protection Act (H.R. 6365). This legislation would eliminate the Budget Control Act's sequester upon enactment of the House-passed reconciliation bill or an alternative bill that achieves the same (or greater) level of savings over five years. The bill also requires the President to submit to Congress, no later than October 15th of this year, legislation that replaces the sequestration with equal or greater spending cuts over five years.
"This report doesn't detail the specifics about what will be cut out of accounts. What we do know is that budgets will be arbitrarily cut by up by nearly 10 percent by the White House. In the meanwhile, the Pentagon will have to scramble to implement these cuts, and the defense business community will have to continue to take a wait and see approach to what might happen. What the President has failed to do is to lead on how these would be implemented and what will be impacted inside of these accounts," added Turner.
This past month, Turner hosted a Community Forum on Sequestration at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. The event brought together local and state elected officials to hear directly from business leaders and area trade groups focused on promoting the defense community. At the forum, the concern surrounding these looming cuts was palpable: "We are drowning in a sea of uncertainty," said Sam Greenwood of the Greentree Group in his opening statement.