Va. Shipyard Latest Setting for Obama Sequester Strategy
With just a few days left to convince Congress to avert the so-called sequester spending cuts, President Obama today travels to a part of the country where the cuts could hit the hardest: Virginia’s shipyards.
Mr. Obama is visiting Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Virginia. If the sequester goes into effect, it could have a direct and clear impact on Virginia’s shipbuilding industry — the Navy would cancel the maintenance of 11 ships in Norfolk, according to the White House, and it would delay and defer other projects in the state. Furthermore, cuts that impact Newport News Shipbuilding could reverberate across the country, since the company has a supplier base in all 50 states.
The sequester will cut around $85 billion in federal spending this year and around $1.1 trillion more over the next 10 years. The White House said Mr. Obama’s trip today is an opportunity to highlight the “devastating impact” the sequester will have “if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester by March 1st.”
Republicans have, for the most part, agreed with the White House that the indiscriminate nature of the sequester cuts will damage the economy.