Mr. PETERS of California. Mr. Speaker, San Diego is the largest metropolitan area for military personnel and base operations. My district is home to seven military installations, and sequestration will have a broad and devastating effect on our military families and economy.
In total, defense spending is responsible for 25 percent of San Diego's GDP. That means 1 out of every $4 generated in San Diego is achieved as a result of defense spending. The proposed cuts to the defense budget will cost San Diego more than 30,000 defense-related jobs, and the Navy will be forced to put a freeze on hiring civilians, many of whom are veterans.
With 11.5 percent of our community's veterans unemployed and a shocking 25 percent of veterans between 18 and 24 struggling to find employment, any further reduction in job opportunities for our Nation's heroes is unacceptable. We can neither threaten our military readiness with indiscriminate cuts nor can we fail the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their families who have already sacrificed so much.
Please join with me in bringing an end to the partisan gridlock and finding solutions that do not put undue burdens on those who risk their lives in defense of our freedom.