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Tue February 26, 2013
Thousands of NC Military jobs at Stake if Budget Cuts Move Forward
Congress and the White House continue to battle over billions in sequestration or budget cuts. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina held a briefing with reporters on the issue Tuesday. She says the cuts would have a major impact on North Carolina’s economy.
The proposed 1.2 trillion dollars in budget cuts will help reduce the U.S. debt ceiling and take place over the next 10 years. Several departments will see their budgets slashed including education, transportation and defense.
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) says she’s worried about the devastating impact the cuts will have on the state’s military families.
“The furlough notices are going out to about 22,000 civilians in North Carolina about the pay cuts and how they would be affected. The military leaders’ testimony made clear that the future readiness of our military would suffer greatly under sequestration. Training for non-deploying units would be significantly curtailed,” says Hagan.
Hagan says Congress has already reduced the federal deficit by more than 2.5 trillion dollars over the last four years, and cut spending by another 1.4 trillion. While Hagan agrees that more needs to be done, she says lawmakers need to study the sequestration cuts with more balance and caution. Hagan says the cuts will have a long-term effect on the state’s economy.
“If we cut $120-million out of their pay we are looking at small business being hurt, dry cleaners, grocery stores, restaurants who are really just now beginning to get back on their feet,” says Hagan.
Hagan says, “This Friday, March 1, the services plan to begin cancelling third and first quarter ship and air craft maintenance. In fact, the Navy plans to cancel $81-million in maintenance that takes place at Cherry Point.”
The first round of cuts would take place between March and September of this year. The Pentagon says billions of dollars in additional cuts would come in future years, as long as the sequester remains in effect.