With less than two weeks remaining until a series of damaging automatic spending cuts are scheduled to take effect, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today visited Polartec in Hudson to underscore the importance of taking a balanced, bipartisan approach to resolving our nation's fiscal challenges. During a tour of the facility, Kuster called on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit that will avoid the automatic cuts, spur job creation and economic growth, and protect middle class New Hampshire families.
"The last thing our economy can afford right now is another self-inflicted wound from Washington -- and that's exactly what these cuts represent," Kuster said. "These arbitrary cuts would be a huge setback for middle class families and our entire economy. We need to cut spending, but we have to do it in a balanced, responsible way that will protect New Hampshire families, grow our economy, and provide certainty for businesses like Polartec."
During a meeting with Polartec's management team, Kuster was briefed on the damaging impacts sequestration would have on the company's operations.
"As I have said before, the ramifications of sequestration would be extremely damaging to the already challenged U.S. textile supply chain," said Gary Smith, CEO of Polartec. "We continue to work very hard at Polartec to balance our military business with a robust commercial market, ensuring that we can remain viable in tough fiscal climates. However, sequestration and the overall budget uncertainty in Washington threatens the entirety of the domestic textile industry and has the potential to negatively affect not only thousands of U.S. jobs, but the health and mission readiness of our men and women in uniform.
Polartec produces uniform and combat clothing for the Department of Defense. If Congress fails to act, the defense cuts included in the sequester could negatively impact their business.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the sequester would reduce economic growth by half in 2013 and cost up to 1.4 million jobs nationwide. A recent study by George Mason University recently estimated that New Hampshire could lose more than 6,300 jobs as a result of these cuts.
Kuster has repeatedly called on Congress to avoid the sequester and replace it with a balanced plan to reduce the deficit and put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path. Earlier this week, Kuster wrote an op-ed highlighting the damaging impacts sequestration would have on families and businesses in New Hampshire, and urged Congress to take a more balanced, bipartisan approach to reducing the deficit that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect the middle class.
Last week, Kuster also helped establish the United Solutions Caucus, a new bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic freshmen focused on resolving our fiscal challenges in a balanced, bipartisan way.