Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) released the following video to constituents today on the impact that automatic spending cuts known as sequestration could have on Maryland's Fifth District and the need for Congress to replace the sequester with a balanced solution:
Below is a transcript of the text of the video:"Unless Congress takes action, in just a few days, the irrational, automatic spending cuts imposed by sequestration will take effect. These cuts, which are arbitrary and do not reflect our national priorities, will harm our economy and our national security.
"From our nation's defense to our students' education, national leaders have warned of the detrimental impact of sequestration:
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: "Frankly one of the greatest security risks we are now facing as a nation, that this budget uncertainty could prompt the most significant military-readiness crisis in more than a decade.'
Lockheed Martin Executive Chairman Robert Stevens: "
Sequestration's automatic trigger and across the board cuts were developed independent of any correlation with
national security strategy, force structure, technology needs or operational reality, and those cuts will be detrimental. From an industry perspective, our near term horizon is completely obscured by a fog of uncertainty.'
General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "This will affect the entire country and it will undermine our readiness for the next several years.'
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: " A lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities they need and as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs.'
"Sequestration affects every community in our nation -- and it would have a particularly harmful impact here in Maryland's Fifth Congressional District.
"In Maryland alone, sequestration could mean approximately 46,000 civilian Department Of Defense employees could be furloughed and our military installations could experience over $100 million in spending cuts, putting many private sector jobs at risk.
"These reductions threaten the missions of our three major military installations in Southern Maryland -- Patuxent River, Webster Field, and Indian Head -- impacting the livelihood of 25,000 Marylanders who support them and undermining the vital role they play in keeping our nation safe and secure.
"Similarly, in Prince George's County, sequestration threatens the mission of Joint Base Andrews, which supports nearly 11,000 jobs.
"We'd also see the possibility of furloughs at a number of federal facilities in Prince George's County, such as NASA Goddard, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, FDA at White Oak, IRS At New Carrollton, the U.S. Census Bureau headquarters, and other critical federal facilities that serve the American people.
"And in the portion of Anne Arundel County that I represent, the jobs and research of 200 employees at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center could be adversely
"Sequestration also makes drastic cuts to investments that are essential to growing our middle class. Maryland families and small businesses cannot afford this irrational approach to deficit reduction.
"I know how challenging it is for you to be experiencing such uncertainty, and I share your frustration. That's why I have cosponsored a bill that would prevent sequestration, while pursuing needed financial discipline and balance.
"It is not too late for the House to vote on this legislation, and I will continue to urge House Republican leaders to consider this legislation.
"As I continue to fight on your behalf and highlight the urgency of replacing the sequester, I encourage you to visit my Facebook page to share with me how these cuts will impact you and your family. Thank you."