Yesterday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi requesting immediate action to address sequestration. Sequestration requires almost $1 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts starting on March 1st of this year.
"We must take immediate action to protect critical domestic programs, prevent these draconian cuts, protect our national security infrastructure, and avoid further damage to our economy. There is a responsible path forward to streamline our defense budget, eliminate duplication and waste, and ensure an efficient and strong military for the 21st century."
According to a report by George Mason University, sequestration puts more than 6,000 jobs at risk in New Hampshire alone. Congresswoman Shea-Porter will work with the New Hampshire delegation to protect jobs in our state, particularly at critical installations like the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
* New Hampshire could lose 6,306 jobs and $323 million in income for state residents if the sequestration cuts take effect in January. [George Mason University, 7/17/12]
* Congresswoman Shea-Porter letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:
Dear Speaker Boehner & Leader Nancy Pelosi,
I am writing to you to express my concern that Congress has not yet dealt with the threat to our economy and national defense posed by the automatic sequestration cuts that were passed by the 112th Congress. These cuts, enacted as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, are irresponsible and arbitrary, and would place a crippling burden on many critical departments and agencies in the federal government. In New Hampshire, we are already seeing the threat posed by sequestration as the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has begun to take steps to prepare for it.
The Department of Defense has been among the most vocal in calling attention to the terrible impact of sequestration. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has repeatedly gone before both House and Senate committees to discuss the damage that sequestration would cause. In a letter to Senator John McCain, Secretary Panetta wrote, "Such a large cut, applied in this indiscriminate manner, would render most of our ship and construction projects unexecutable--you cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building--and seriously damage other modernization efforts. We would also be forced to separate many of our civilian personnel involuntarily, and, because the reductions would be imposed so quickly, we would almost certainly have to furlough civilians in order to meet the target." My constituents, particularly those employed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, have already begun to learn about planned furloughs and possible reductions.
Beyond the damage to military readiness and the loss of jobs and the resulting tremendous economic uncertainty, the sequester would also run the risk of seriously hollowing out so many critical domestic programs.
I hope that the prospect of these deep, devastating cuts will bring together members from both parties to find a way to avert the sequester. Sequestration will hurt the economy in New Hampshire, it will hurt the economy nationally, and it will hurt the middle class and the poor. Businesses will face uncertainty and the loss of government contracts, further limiting their ability to invest in new employees and new capital. We need to stop the sequester, pass a balanced plan that reduces the deficit, and stop endangering economic growth.
Member of Congress