Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) issued the following statement responding to the report released by the Administration today on the expected impact of triggered sequestration cuts on defense and non-defense programs scheduled to begin on January 2, 2013. Required by H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act, this report was due to Congress last week.
"When meeting with Rock Island Arsenal leaders, our area's defense manufacturers, and workers, all have repeatedly expressed to me their concern and uncertainty about how the looming sequestration cuts will impact them," Schilling said. "The tragic events of this week have shown us that America must remain strong, capable, and free. Today's report provides few solid details, but reiterates the need for the President to join us in working to avoid the cuts his own report describes as "deeply destructive to national security.'
With Schilling's support, the House of Representatives has passed several proposals to address the impending sequestration cuts. The most recent is H.R. 6365, the National Security and Job Protection Act, which requires President Obama to submit to Congress by October 15, 2012 a plan for replacing his sequester with alternative savings. The National Security and Job Protection Act passed the House on Thursday, September 13.
"Illinoisans sent me to represent them in Washington to change business as usual," Schilling said. "I'm committed to achieving deficit reduction and working to stop spending money we don't have, and I stand ready to work with the President and with the Senate on policies to avoid these devastating cuts to defense. "
A study released in June by the National Association of Manufacturers indicates that across-the-board budget cuts to the Department of Defense scheduled to begin in January 2013 would cost approximately 1 million jobs at a time when the nation's unemployment has remained at or above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months. According to the NAM study, Illinois, with July's 8.9 percent unemployment rate, is among the top 10 states to be impacted by job losses, with more than 35,400 jobs on the line in the next two years alone.