Statement by AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey
We are pleased members of both the House and Senate recognize the dangers that draconian cuts pose to our nation’s security and America’s skilled workforce, threatening more than one million middle class jobs. It is imperative that Congress and President Obama quickly agree to a path forward that avoids sequestration and automatic reductions in defense and domestic spending. The effects on DOD, FAA and NASA are potentially devastating.
The aerospace and defense industry is comprised of highly skilled and dedicated workers with irreplaceable experience and capabilities. They are the engineers, technicians and machinists who design and build our nation’s Second to None arsenal. Their skills are a national asset that would take decades to replace if lost due to drastic cuts in defense spending. The proposed House and Senate bills are a significant step towards addressing the situation and forestalling the immediate job losses that would result as government and its industry partners reshape themselves for the cuts scheduled to take place in 11 months.
We strongly support efforts to undo this looming danger, which Secretary Panetta has made clear will hollow out the U.S. military, leaving America with the smallest army, navy and air force in decades, leading to “significant operation risks” and “unacceptable risk in future combat operations.” The bottom line is clear — now is the time for leaders in both parties and at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to put the politics of the day aside and remove this threat to our national security and economy.