Today, as the Seacoast Shipyard Association announced the findings of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Economic Impact Report for CY 2012, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued a statement to the House Budget Committee highlighting the importance of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on the region's economy and the country's national defense. She encouraged the committee to replace sequestration's arbitrary cuts with a balanced plan that responsibly cuts spending and removes unnecessary tax breaks for special interests.
"The cuts to the Department of Defense budget are destructive and indiscriminate, and when added to the cuts of the last several years, will weaken our national defense by making our active duty military and reserve components less able to accomplish their mission," said Shea-Porter. "In order to keep our national defense strong, I ask you to restore the budget of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to the funding level that existed prior to implementation of the defense sequester."
As of March 1st, sequestration has taken effect across the nation, triggering the $85 billion budget decrease required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. These sudden, enormous and untargeted cuts across all government and military programs and departments will shock our recovering economy, both in New Hampshire and throughout the nation.
Located at the eastern edge of the First Congressional District, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) - with a workforce of about 5,000 - has both an essential defense mission and an enormous impact on the region's economy. Both military readiness and the regional economy are threatened by these drastic sequestration cuts.
PNSY performs critical repair, refit and nuclear refueling work on Virginia-class submarines. Timelines for the work are scheduled years in advance and planned carefully to ensure maximum efficiency. Sequestration makes it extremely challenging to meet submarine availability schedules and deadlines. These sequester cuts will ultimately impact the ability of the U.S. submarine force to carry out its national defense mission. In addition, the cascading economic impact of sequestration will seriously damage the economy of the First Congressional District of New Hampshire and the employees of PNSY.