Statement by AIA President & CEO Marion C. Blakey
While everyone agrees on the need to control spending, a bipartisan consensus is emerging that the sequestration cuts imposed by the Budget Control Act are a cure worse than the disease. There is indisputable data showing that another $500 billion of cuts to defense programs would hollow out our military, endanger our troops and stop economic recovery dead in its tracks.
Voices as diverse as International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Tom Buffenbarger and Senator Jon Kyl have spoken eloquently on this subject. Speaking in the Capitol and writing in the opinion pages today, Mr. Kyl and his colleagues Sens. Rubio, Ayotte, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, Inhofe, and Vitter powerfully sounded the alarm. In remarks at RAND this morning, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith also flagged this issue – asked when the impact of budget sequestration would be felt, he said “It’s now!”
More deep cuts to defense investments could cost over a million jobs and create enormous economic dislocation in thousands of communities across the country just as economic recovery is finally taking root. In addition, these cuts would cede American leadership in a host of critical technologies, allowing our enemies to close the gap in stealth flight, air defenses, unmanned vehicles and surveillance and reconnaissance. Coming off a string of military successes fueled by our aerospace superiority, from the air campaign in Libya to the drone assaults that have crippled al Qaeda from Pakistan to the Horn of Africa, this is something no American should accept.
The sequestration hammer falls in just 278 days. In both chambers of Congress, strong efforts are underway to find a solution to this looming crisis, and we appreciate all of these efforts. But it’s long past time to act.”