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Will President Obama Tell Virginia Families His Plan to Replace Devastating Defense Cuts?
President Obama will be in Norfolk, VA today, home to the largest naval base in the world. While he’s there, we wonder: will the president share with Virginia families his plan to replace the looming defense cuts that would leave us with the smallest Navy since 1915?
We hope so, because we sure haven’t seen it yet and the president has remained more engaged in his campaign than on addressing the needs of families in states like Virginia.
You see, the House voted in May to replace these devastating cuts with common-sense spending cuts and reforms. The House-passed bill goes even further, reducing the deficit by an additional $242.8 billion beyond the Budget Control Act while protecting our troops and our national security.
But the president and Senate Democrats have rejected the solutions in the House bill, and the Obama administration refuses to respond to requests from Congress on how it plans to implement the military cuts, and how specific federal programs and activities would be affected.
The Virginia-Pilot based in Norfolk calls these cuts “a ticking time bomb to America's national defense capability.” We already know they’ll leave us with the smallest ground force since before World War II and the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force.
And a coalition of 31 organizations representing more than 5.5 million troops and veterans says the cuts threaten the “compensation, health care, and other support commitments” made “to generations of servicemembers, families, and survivors” at a time of high unemployment and rising prices.
That’s why next week the House will consider the bipartisan Sequestration Transparency Act (H.R. 5872). Sponsored by Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), this bill requires President Obama to submit a report detailing his administration’s plan for implementing these military cuts.
If the president has a plan to replace the military cuts required by the Budget Control Act, he should outline it immediately and engage both parties directly in an effort to solve the issue. And if not, he should tell the American people – and the military personnel and families in Norfolk – how these cuts will be implemented.