McDonnell: Sequester Could Force Virginia Into Recession

Governor sends letter to President Obama, congressional delegation.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter Monday to President Barack Obama and the Old Dominion's congressional delegation, calling for immediate action to prevent automatic spending cuts under sequestration.

The $1.2 trillion in cuts — meant to force Congress to compromise, which hasn't happened — are slated to go into effect March 1. That deadline has been pushed back several times as lawmakers have brokered Band-Aid solutions.

"The automatic sequestration reductions mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 are already having a significant adverse effect on the Commonwealth," McDonnell stated. "When fully implemented, they could force Virginia and other states into a recession. Sequestration-mandated reductions will be implemented with no regard for relative national priorities. These reductions will have a potentially devastating impact in the Commonwealth, with the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions at the greatest risk."

In Northern Virginia, defense contractors have said the mere threat of sequestration is already having negative effects.

Businesses, for instance, already are not filling vacancies. Contracts are being renegotiated for shorter periods of time. Research and development spending is slowing down, as are major acquisitions. Wall Street is investing more with companies that don't do business with the government.

Last week, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with seven of Virginia's 11 congressmen, sent a letter to Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to show bicameral, bipartisan support for averting the sequestration.

Citing a recent study by George Mason University, the letter states that nearly 10 percent of the 2.1 million jobs that would be cut under sequestration would come from Virginia.

Of those, 136,191 Virginia jobs would be lost due to defense cuts; another 71,380 jobs in this state would vanish thanks to non-defense cuts, the letter states. Virginia could also look forward to a $20.8 billion loss in gross state product.

"The consequences of a failure to avert sequestration will ripple through all parts of our state economy and could lead to a hollow military force and a government unable to adequately respond to the needs of its citizens," the congressmen's letter states.

Friday, Kaine met with area school officials in Old Town Alexandria and underscored the devastating impact sequestration would have on education, particularly Head Start and special education teachers, aides and staff.

Read more:

Defense Contractors: 'We've Been Sequestered Already'

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1Ronald February 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM
The warmongers will still have thier "military spending." And be able to invade other nations and kill their people. Because they look different and have a different religion from those invading. And then we wonder why they hate us? AGAIN, when Congress decides to allocate for DEFENSE spending ONLY and cuts out ALL military spending will we regain our status among the international community. And start spending US money on US citizens and re-building the crumbling American infrastructure. Hey, folks, it's called LEADERSHIP. And bringing the troops home. To re-build democracy in the good ole' USA that we lost when religion became political, invaded our legal system, and is now locking up everyone in sight. Honk, if it's holy.
Liam February 19, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Why is the Governor writing the President? This is a problem created by Congress. Virginians should put the blame squarely on Eric Cantor's shoulders and remove him from office on his next re-election bid.
Anne February 19, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Governor McDonnell needs to talk to Eric Cantor, John BOENER, Mitch McConnell and the likes. They are the ones saying NO COMPROMISE. They created this mess and now the governor blames President Obama. So typically Virginian. Bunch of yokels
Gary February 19, 2013 at 09:44 PM
The sequester was the Obama administration's idea back in 2010 during the debt limit negotiations. Obama lied in the debates last year when he said it wasn't his idea.
1Ronald February 22, 2013 at 07:52 PM
The issue is Republicans who want to cut entitlements to the Middle Class. And Obama leadership trying to prevent this. We're talking Social Security (that you paid into), Medicare, Medicaid, and many benefits for returning veterans--money Republicans want to use to start more wars and to give the top 2% of the US wealthy a tax break. So they jam a "steel pole" in the machinery of government and incapacitate it so the greatest number of people are suffering without recourse. And when election day rolls around again, there will be this grand amnesia of who slammed them to the ground, stepped on them, and kept on going. DUH?
Tyup February 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Head start in OT? The population of like 10 there using it.


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