Unless Congress takes action, over the next few weeks our economy will be hit with harmful automatic cuts that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs. These cuts will slash vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and health care for our troops and military families.
President Obama strongly believes we need to replace these arbitrary cuts with balanced deficit reduction, and today he was at a shipyard in Newport News, VA to talk about what these cuts — which are known as the sequester — will mean for middle class families.
While the full damage of these cuts will spread to nearly every corner of our economy over the next few months, some workers will receive layoff or furlough notices within days. Many of the 5,000 companies and small businesses from across the country that supply Newport News Shipbuilding with parts and equipment will be impacted, which will affect the firm's productivity. And down the road at the Norfolk Naval Station, the threat of these cuts has already forced the Navy to cancel the deployment and delay the repair of certain aircraft carriers, and postpone building on additional vessels. If the cuts are implemented, about 90,000 Virginians who work for the Department of Defense will be forced to take unpaid leave from their jobs, creating a ripple effect on thousands of other jobs, businesses, and services throughout the Commonwealth – and not just in the defense industry.