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KITSAP: Murray and Kilmer Host Roundtable on Impacts of Sequestration

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and U.S. Rep Derek Kilmer (WA-6) visited the International Association of Machinists Hall in Bremerton to discuss the impacts of sequestration on social service providers and the communities they serve. Murray and Kilmer will meet with advocates and local officials to hear firsthand about the impacts of sequestration on their communities. Murray and Kilmer talked about the impact the federal budget has on the everyday lives of Washington families, especially regarding social services. Murray continued to stress the need for a balanced approach to addressing our current budget challenges and the need to invest in the middle-class to help Washington state's economy grow.

"I don't think it's news to anyone here that from our shipyards to our schools and community centers -- the cuts from sequestration are having a real impact already," Senator Murray said at the event. "We know that military families could face furloughs, and that our shipbuilders -- who do it better than anyone in the world -- are hurt directly by defense cuts. But often it's people who don't have lobbyists in Washington, DC to fight for them that hurt the most. Here today, we have people who educate our children, help families that need housing assistance, work with small businesses, and provide crucial aid to the mentally ill. And each day -- people like you are working to make Everett and Kitsap County a vibrant community that supports businesses and cares for all our neighbors -- from our children to our seniors. That's why I'm here today -- because Congress needs to be focused on the impacts of sequestration in communities like this one."

Participants included representatives from IAM 282, Paladin Data Systems, the Kitsap Credit Union, Kitsap Community Health Services, Kitsap Mental Health Services, the local YWCA, and the Bremerton Housing Authority.

Full text of Senator Murray's comments, as prepared:

"Thank you, Flip, for that introduction.

"And thank you, Congressman Kilmer, for being here today.

"As all of you know, Derek Kilmer has hit the ground running since he arrived in Congress earlier this year.

"I'm grateful to have him with me to help fight for Bremerton and communities across our state.

"And I'm so glad to be here today to talk with all of you about how sequestration's cuts are already impacting the lives of people in this community.

"I don't think it's news to anyone here that from our shipyards to our schools and community centers -- the cuts from sequestration are having a real impact already.

"We know that military families could face furloughs, and that our shipbuilders -- who do it better than anyone in the world -- are hurt directly by defense cuts.

"But often -- it's people who don't have lobbyists in Washington, DC to fight for them that hurt the most.

"Here today, we have people who educate our children, help families that need housing assistance, work with small businesses, and provide crucial aid to the mentally ill.

"And each day -- people like you are working to make Everett and Kitsap County a vibrant community that supports businesses and cares for all our neighbors -- from our children to our seniors.

"That's why I'm here today -- because Congress needs to be focused on the impacts of sequestration in communities like this one.

"In Washington, DC, we've been lurching from one crisis to the next, and it's having a real impact on families across our state.

"Right here at Bremerton, sequestration hangs over the heads of military and civilian families alike: Critical social services are already being cut, military families could face furloughs and pay cuts, and in our local communities, everyone is forced to do more with less.

"On the news, we've heard about long lines at airports and other impacts of sequestration -- but we don't hear nearly enough about cuts to communities like this one.
"We don't hear enough about the impact on people who don't have a voice.

"And when I hear from people like you, it's clearer than ever: these are the wrong cuts, at the wrong time, and we need to replace them by investing in our economy and middle-class families.

"So that is exactly what I'm doing.

"For first time in four years, my colleagues in the Senate and I passed a budget that I wrote to get our state and our country back on track.

"Our budget supports our children by investing in their education and preparing them for world ahead.

"Our budget ensures that seniors across our state can rely on Medicare and Social Security each month.

"It works for our veterans by providing them with job training programs and support when they return home.

"And our budget replaces the damaging cuts from sequestration that are impacting families and communities across our state, including everyone here in Everett.

"Passing this budget was an important first step, but we're not there yet, and it's not going to be easy.

"As all of you know, back in Washington DC, the debate too often comes down to a "my way or the highway" approach.

"Some of my colleagues in Congress still insist that we should try to grow our economy from the top-down, when we know we have to build from the middle-out.

"And we often hear that deficit reduction should come from all cuts or all revenue.

"But clearly, that approach has been damaging.

"We believe we need to replace sequestration with smart, sensible spending decisions, particularly with our defense budget, invest in the middle-class again, and put a stop to the practice of governing from crisis to crisis.

"So that's what we're working to do.

"And while we face tough budget realities, we have worked to ensure the cuts we make don't come at the expense of families and communities that can afford it least.

"So I'm here to listen -- because when I crafted this budget, and as I continue working to make smart spending decisions for our country, it's the people in this room that I'm working for.

"Since taking on this new job of writing our nation's budget, I've been working to change the idea that budgets are just about charts and graphs

"Our budget is about priorities and values -- your priorities and your values.

"In the coming weeks, I'll be working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle -- including Congressman Kilmer -- to get us to the balanced approach we need.

"But when I sit down to find compromises on the budget, I won't forget the principles that have guided me through this process, and I won't forget the people here today.

"So thank you again for having me here, and for all that you do for our community."


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