If lawmakers in Washington can't reach a federal budget deal, across the board spending cuts take effect Friday. It won't just be federal programs that feel the squeeze of sequestration. If sequestration goes into effect tomorrow, our country faces $85 billion in cuts this year alone, and nearly 1.2 trillion in the next 10 years.
17th district Representative Cheri Bustos and her neighboring district's representative Adam Kinzinger toured SupplyCore last week. There, they saw the effects the possibility of sequestration is already having on the Rockford area.
"They'd like to expand, they'd like to hire new employees, but they're in a hiring freeze and they have been for months because of the uncertainty."
Like SupplyCore, other aerospace manufactures in Rockford could face additional challenges. Many have contracts with federal defense programs that could spell disaster if their funding is slashed.
"What it does is it reduces what the government can buy for our troops and soldiers, and that will have an impact on manufacturing in Rockford. Whether it costs actual jobs or not I think remains to be seen," says Kinzinger.
Kinzinger believes sequestration is on the fast track to implementation. He says President Obama has avoided conversations with republican representatives, allowing the deadline to creep up. "But it really takes two to tango in this case and unfortunately we're debating against ourselves, so unfortunately it does seem like it's going to happen and it's really unfortunate," says Kinzinger.
"Rather than argue about how we got here, why we got here, what I'm calling out for is that both parties need to work together. we need to kind a bipartisan, common sense plan to stop these cuts in their tracks before they cause too much damage," says Bustos.
In addition to defense spending, prisons, education, and national parks all face potential sequestration.
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