Hours after President Barack Obama’s campaign stop at George Mason University, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell hosted a press conference call Friday afternoon taking to task the president’s handling of massive, looming defense cuts.
If Congress doesn’t make key budget decisions by the end of the year, $1.2 trillion in cuts to defense and other spending will kick in automatically.
McDonnell, who was joined on the call by U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4th) and Ashburn defense contractor Joe Travez, who repeatedly said the cuts would be “devastating,” especially in Virginia.
Approximately 200,000 Virginians would be at risk of losing their jobs if sequestration is implemented in January 2013, and McDonnell said that can’t happen.
Virginia is home to about 350,000 members of the military and about 830,000 veterans, McDonnell said. That doesn't include those who work in the defense contracting industry.
Half of the cuts will come from the defense budget. The other half will come from various domestic programs.
McDonnell acknowledged that cuts were necessary to solve the national debt, but said the proposed mix of programs to cut was wrong. Without a change of administration, Virginia would be in trouble, he said.
“These cuts would be devastating to the military and incredibly harmful to Virginia’s economy,” he said.
Travez worried what sequestration would mean for him and his 130 employees at PPI, his defense contracting business in Ashburn.
“America’s national security and the future of the defense contracting industry as we know it is in jeopardy,” Travez said.
Northern Virginia's Top Contractors: Cuts Would be 'Devastating'