Highlights From RNC Conference Call on Obama’s Defense Cuts
Former Governor George Allen (R-VA):
“What we’re seeing here are these defense cuts which are disproportionately hitting our armed services. It is a Washington deal which is really the latest failure in Washington. Here’s what this really means to Virginians – over 200,000 hard working men and women in Virginia are at risk of losing their jobs because of this deal. these are jobs that are feeding families, they’re providing customers for small businesses, they really form the building blocks for our economy and that’s one of the reasons I opposed this deal from the beginning, because it disproportionately targeted our military which is already getting cuts of nearly $500 billion dollars. And then if this so called commission or super committee failed, not only were there no spending cuts but if they failed half the cuts were going to come from the paramount responsibility of the federal government which is our national defense. And also be devastating to jobs in Virginia, Northern Virginia, where President Obama is coming in today, as well as Hampton Roads and elsewhere in Virginia, but Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads will be the hardest hit.
“Just a few days ago, I was at a small business in Chantilly that produces technology that helps protect our service men and women from excessive heat. This is a small company, got an award for small business success story of the year and they’re talking about, they’ve got to wait, they cannot expand, they don’t want to produce too much because then they’ll be stuck without being able to sell it with this weak economy and not knowing what’s going to happen. So that’s how the impacts of these cuts are on a small business and other businesses that are related to helping our military be as sharp and agile and proficient as possible.
“This is an issue in the Senate race where Tim Kaine supported Washington’s deal and I asked him in our recent debate about 10 days ago. He doubled down in his support of these devastating defense cuts saying ‘the deal was the right thing to do.’ I don’t know who it was right for, it was certainly not right for the people of Virginia and it was a bad idea from the start and these devastating cuts to our military and jobs I think has to be stopped which takes focused leadership and what the other side is saying is they want to raise taxes. Well, raising taxes, all that would do is hurt small businesses that are already struggling and it would actually cause more job losses and as far as I’m concerned our armed services should never be used as a bargaining tool for raising taxes.”
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling (R-VA):
“President Obama has been making a number of trips here in recent weeks and at least he understands that Virginia is a key battleground state. The irony off course is that for the past four years the president’s policies have almost constituted a declaration of war on Virginia’s economy and now he comes here and asks us for his support. But Virginians aren’t that gullible and I think they are going to look beyond the president’s rhetoric and they’re going to look at his record. The truth is over the last four years his record has been a record of failed leadership and in many ways it has really had a devastating impact on Virginia’s economy and a number of industries in our state but all of that pales in comparison to the impact that these looming sequester budget cuts in defense could have on Virginia’s economy. That is why we have been trying so hard to get the president to say exactly how he’s going to implement these cuts and what his plan is for making sure that these cuts don’t drive Virginia’s economy right back into recession…
“Virginia is home to 19 military instillations, we have 90 plus federal facilities in our state. We have 550 plus federal government leased or owned properties in our state. 25,000 plus federal government contractors in our state including 5000 defense contractors and a great many of those installations and those defense contractors are located in Northern Virginia and in Hampton Roads. Two of the most populated areas of our state. You have seen these studies. There was a study out two weeks ago from George Mason University which said that these devastating cuts in the nation’s defense would result in the loss of 207,000 jobs in Virginia and have a about ten billion dollar economic impact in our state and I will tell you our own internal analysis is that Northern Virginia will absorb about 60% of those losses and Hampton Roads about 20% of those losses and neither one of those regions can afford that type of a hit. Especially not when it comes from misguided policy like these sequester cuts in national defense. Our concern is twofold. Number one that these cuts would lead to nation’s defense vulnerable, but number two it would have a devastating impact on Virginia’s economy…
“My hope is that when the president visits Virginia today that he’ll explain himself and that he’ll tell the people of Northern Virginia why he continues to push forward with these proposals and why he continues to play this high stakes game of chicken knowing that it creates such a devastating threat to the economy of Northern Virginia.”
U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-4):
“There is absolutely no matrix by which you can measure this administration and say they have either been good either for national defense of this country or for the economy of Virginia. When the president comes to Virginia each time, he brings with him a large box filled with pink slips that are going to be distributed to Virginians across this state. And if we look, these words that we have heard, and Senator Allen and Lt. Gov Bolling both used them: devastating, horrific, about these cuts. These aren’t words they created or pulled out of some lexicon that they had. These are words that have been used by the Secretary of Defense and members of this administration.
“What I was shocked to find, is that with this plan that’s going to be devastating to the strategic defense of this country and absolutely devastating to the economy of Virginia, we’re looking at the fact that we’re talking about over 204,000 jobs lost in Virginia alone. According to the Secretary of Defense, 1.5 million jobs lost across the country. According to the Air and Space Industry, 2.1 million jobs lost across the country. Either one of those numbers are devastating. And then, what we were shocked to find out is the OMB Director testified before the Senate on Feb 14th. And he said ‘the president wants sequester, the president wants to use it as a forcing mechanism.’ As Lt. Gov. Bolling said, ‘a blackmail mechanism.’ And yesterday the OMB Director made it clear before the Armed Services Committee why: so he can raise taxes on the American people…
“The House has put forward a plan – it was voted on and passed by the House – that would stop sequestration from happening. Now it may not be a perfect plan, it may not be the right plan, but at this particular point in time the Senate has not only not put forward a plan. But Senator Reid has said he will not put forward one and will not let one be voted on. And the President of the United States, when he’s looking at something that by his own administration will be devastating and horrific to the national defense of this country, has yet to put forward a plan that can garner a single vote in the Senate or in the House. Not a single vote in a Senate committee, not a single vote on the floor of the Senate. Not a single vote in the house committee. Not a single vote on the floor of the House. Now when his proposals were put to a vote, they were defeated unanimously in the Senate and unanimously in the house. So at some point in time, if he’s going to be the Commander in Chief, he’s got to come forward and say we’re not going to let these devastating things happen to national defense. We’re not going to let this destroy the economy of Virginia, especially northern Virginia and Hampton Roads…But we continue to wait and time’s running out on that.”
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