Friday, February 22, 2013

Key Facts on Sequestration

Congressman Randy Forbes

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Key Facts on Sequestration

Virginia will feel the strongest blow of sequestration's arbitrary cuts.  10% of the nationwide job loss will come from the Commonwealth.  Over 200,000 individuals could lose their jobs. 

Civilian furloughs could leave workers with up to 20% pay cuts over 6 months.

National security spending has been cut by roughly $800 billion during President Obama's first term - not including sequestration.  Sequestration would cut another roughly $480 billion from defense.  The Department of Defense, which represents about 20% of the Federal budget, stands to absorb 50% of the cuts from the sequester, while 53% of federal government spending is exempt from sequestration cuts.  By exempting over half of the budget from sequestration, defense takes a disproportionate share of the cuts.   

There is no debate on sequestration's devastating impact on our national defense.  In the words of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, sequestration "guarantees that we hollow out the military."

Direct Action: Solutions to Stop Sequestration

Solution 1: Enact common-sense spending cuts to replace sequestration

Congressman Forbes has supported legislation to replace sequestration with thoughtful and serious spending cuts across the federal government.  Read more: H.R.5652 and H.R.6684

Solution 2: Protect defense from sequestration
Congressman Forbes has introduced a bill to remove the Department of Defense from sequestration.  Read more: H.R.773

Solution 3: Delay costly implementation of the healthcare law to avert sequestration
Congressman Forbes cosponsored a bill to delay all provisions of the health care law that are set to take effect in 2014 and 2015 until January 1, 2016, and then use those savings to replace imminent sequestration cuts. Read more: H.R.607

A History of Congressman Forbes' Work to Stop Sequestration

Beginning in 2008:  1 of 17 Members of Congress to Vote against Billions in "Stimulus" Spending 
Congressman Forbes was one 1 of 17 out of 535 Members of Congress to vote against every stimulus bill under Republican and Democrat administrations.  Over $1 trillion in stimulus spending has directly put us on the dangerous path we are now on.  The cost of just the 2009 stimulus alone, $833 billion plus the interest of over $300 billion is nearly the total amount of cuts under sequestration.

July 2011:
Launched Strong Defense, Strong America
Congressman Forbes launched an initiative called Strong Defense, Strong America to warn about the dangers of slashing defense to pay for stimulus spending.  Read some of the key fact sheets authored and circulated by Congressman Forbes in the summer and fall of 2011: 

August 2011: Voted Against the Budget Control Act
Congressman Forbes voted against the Budget Control Act, which set up the process of sequestration.  The bill passed the House 269-161 passed the Senate 74-26, and was signed into law by the President on August 2, 2011.  Read Congressman Forbes' statement on his vote against the Budget Control Act here.

October 2011:­­ ­­­­Introduced Legislation to Highlight Dangers of Sequestration
Congressman Forbes introduced and championed the Strong Defense, Strong America Resolution, a bill arguing that further reductions to defense funding will cause significant harm to United States economy and national security.  Read the text of the bill here.

May 2012:  Supported Legislation to Replace Sequester with Alternative Spending Cuts
Congressman Forbes supported a plan to replace sequestration with $98 billion in spending cuts recommended by six committees – Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means.  These bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May (H.R.5652) and December (H.R.6684) of 2012, both with Forbes' support.  They remain viable, thoughtful spending reductions that would allow us to stop sequestration without raising taxes and ultimately address the fundamental issue at hand: a serious overspending problem in Washington.

May - Sept 2012:
  Launched Nationwide Listening Sessions on Sequestration
Congressman Forbes launched 'Defending our Defenders,' a series of 7 listening sessions around the country to discuss the potential for these devastating cuts and to raise awareness for the need for bipartisan solutions to avert sequestration.  Defending our Defenders held listening sessions in Virginia, Florida, Illinois, California, Montana, Arkansas, and Missouri.

December 2012: Voted Again to Support Legislation to Replace Sequestration
Congressman Forbes again supported legislation to replace the shortsighted cuts of sequestration with broad-based, common sense spending reforms.  Among other proposals, this legislation would repeal the Dodd-Frank bailout fund that paves the way for future bailouts, saving $22 billion, and would reform the medical liability system saving an estimated $40 billion over the next ten years.

January 2013: Reconvened his Fort Lee Advisory Board
Congressman Forbes gathered key community leaders and elected officials to discuss plans to position Fort Lee as the installation faces significant cuts as a result of the Budget Control Act and sequestration.  Cuts at Fort Lee will cause significant regional job losses.

January 2013: Visited Six Hampton Roads Shipyards to Discuss Sequestration Impacts
Congressman Forbes visited six Hampton Roads shipyards on January 31st and February 1st to discuss the serious impacts of sequestration on jobs and Navy readiness: BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, VA; NASSCO-Earl Industries, Portsmouth, VA; Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News, VA; Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA; Colonna's Shipyard, Norfolk, VA; MHI Ship Repair & Services, Norfolk, VA. 

February 2013: Pushed to Grant Navy Flexibility in Meeting Key National Security Demands
Congressman Forbes, Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and Congressman Rob Wittman, Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging the protection of military programs vital to national security.

February 2013:  Championed Bipartisan Letter on the Need to Avert Sequestration
Congressman Forbes lead a group of Virginia Senators and Congressmen - Democrats and Republicans – in sending a letter to the President, House Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid, urging them to act to avert sequestration.  The bipartisan letter reads, in part: "The consequences of a failure to avert sequestration will ripple to all parts of our state economy and lead to a hollow military force and a government unable to adequately respond to the needs of its citizens. We stand ready to work hand-in-hand to negotiate an agreement to avert these cuts that threaten grave consequences for the Commonwealth, our federal government, and our national security."

February 2013: Cosponsored Legislation to Delay Sequestration
Congressman Forbes cosponsored a bill (H.R.607) to delay all provisions of the health care law that are set to take effect in 2014 and 2015 until January 1, 2016, and then use those savings to replace sequestration for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013. Not only does this measure stop the destructive effects of these cuts, it gives the Administration time to prepare for the many new provisions of the health care law.

February 2013: Introduced Legislation to Protect Defense from Sequestration
Congressman Forbes has introduced a bill (H.R.773) to remove the Department of Defense from sequestration.   Under sequestration, defense spending will be again disproportionately cut, absorbing 50% of the cuts.   Spending cuts of this magnitude will not only cripple the economy, but lead to the degradation of vital U.S. military capabilities that will be difficult to replace and whose atrophy will perhaps irrevocably alter American capacity to protect our interests worldwide. This bill would reduce the amount of the sequester to $600 billion.

Ongoing: Congressman Forbes is actively engaging with members of both parties to find bipartisan solutions by working with members of the House and Senate. 

Ongoing: Congressman Forbes is actively meeting with those that will be impacted by these cuts - high ranking uniformed military commanders, Department of Defense senior civilians, defense industry leaders, federal employees, police officers, teachers, health care professionals, and others. 

Folllow Congressman Forbes' Media on Sequestration

USA Today (July 29, 2011) - Forbes Op-Ed: "Cut the debt, but don't undercut our military."

Washington Post (November 25, 2011) - Virginia's GOP targets government spending, a key driver of state's economy

Fox News Channel (May 10, 2012) - America's Newsroom

Fox News Channel (May 11, 2012) - Fox & Friends

CNN (May 11, 2012) - Newsroom

Fox Business (May 11, 2012) - Lou Dobbs Tonight

Mike Huckabee Radio (Jun 22, 2012) - Broadcast

Wall Street Journal (July 8, 2012) - Military Cuts Loom as Late Campaign Issue

C-SPAN (July 26, 2012) - Washington Journal

Fox News Channel (October 31, 2012) - Geraldo at Large

Fox News Channel (December 8, 2012) – Mike Huckabee Show

Weigh In: Where Do You Stand on Sequestration?

  • Share your thoughts on Congressman Forbes' blog.
  • Join the discussion on Facebook.
  • Weigh in on an Instapoll:
    • Do you support sequestration or an alternative spending reduction plan? Take the poll here.
    • Which alternatives to sequestration do you support? Take the poll here.
  • Discuss on Twitter.
  • Email me directly though Congressman Forbes' website.

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