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Between the looming threat of sequestration, expiration of tax measures and the rising deficit, there are a number of critical issues that are making their way into the presidential campaign and other significant elections. Given the fiscal cliff facing the nation, no one can doubt the historical importance of the upcoming vote.
One of the most important issues to be addressed is the need to develop a bipartisan alternative to sequestration. Beginning in 2012, the Defense Department will absorb $487 billion in reductions over the next decade. In accordance with the 2011 Budget Control Act, another $500 billion cut will be imposed over the same timeframe unless a legislative remedy is put in place. In addition, sequestration will delay the Next Generation Air Transportation System, stall U.S. efforts to develop new human-rated space vehicles and extend our weather satellite coverage gap.
A Deloitte study shows that with $324 billion in sales, the aerospace and defense industry supports 3.5 million jobs in all 50 states. Further, an AIA-commissioned study by AIA by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University shows that more than one million defense-dependant jobs are at risk if sequestration takes effect. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects the nation might head into another recession if sequestration, along with the expiration of tax measures, is allowed to go into effect.
AIA’s election kit focuses on issues related to national security, civil aviation and space sectors and other issues such as workforce, acquisition reform and international market access. We are providing these materials to the candidates and other officials so that they may understand how the decisions they’ll be making will impact the nation’s defense and economy for years to come.