Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain made the following statement regarding updated data released today detailing the impact of automatic spending cuts that would affect the Department of Defense and other federal agencies as a result of sequestration, the indiscriminate budget-cutting mechanism triggered by the Budget Control Act of 2011:
"Our primary concern with these cuts is that they would devastate our national security; they are, as Defense Secretary Panetta noted, like "shooting ourselves in the head.' Yet, they will also cost jobs -- more than 2 million nationwide, including 49,189 in Arizona alone. Business leaders are already planning to issue pink slips as early as September for hardworking employees essential to the maintenance of our national defense. Thus, we call upon our colleagues from both sides of the aisle to help us avert these disastrous cuts by working quickly to find acceptable budgetary offsets," said Senators Kyl and McCain.
According to an updated George Mason University economic assessment, Arizona could lose more than 49,189 defense and non-defense related jobs if sequestration occurs. Moreover, Arizona's economy could lose $2.518 billion in earnings, a significant blow to businesses throughout the state.
Nationally, it is estimated that sequestration will reduce the nation's Gross Domestic Product by $215 billion, decrease the personal earnings of the workforce by $109.4 billion, and cost the U.S. economy 2.14 million jobs.
Senators Kyl and McCain have introduced legislation, S. 2065 that offers $109.3 billion in offsets required to replace one year of defense and non-defense sequestration. S. 2065 accomplishes the savings in two ways: (1) for every three federal employees that retire, only two new employees would be hired as replacements; (2) federal employee salaries would be frozen at current levels through June 2014.