WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said that it is past time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to identify an alternative to automatic, across-the-board defense sequestration cuts set to begin in January, during a forum at TechAmerica today with key members of the defense technology community,
Senator Ayotte was the keynote speaker at today’s forum, “Dereliction of Duty: Why Washington Can’t Go AWOL On Sequestration,” sponsored by TechAmerica. The event included a panel discussion with Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, and Steve Bucci of the Heritage Foundation.
“Some may believe that since job losses won’t start until January, Congress can continue to kick the can down the road,” said Senator Ayotte. “But the truth is, we’re already beginning to feel the effects of sequestration. And the worst will hit this fall when defense companies start to announce and implement layoffs.”
Under the WARN Act, industry is under federal law to send layoff notices to employees 60 days in advance of the January 2 deadline. Some defense industry suppliers have already begun.
“Sequestration is the judgment day no one wants, akin to playing chicken with two locomotives on a single greased track,” said Gregory Keeley, TechAmerica’s Vice President of Defense, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Policy. “Lawmakers need to heed the warnings from unions, industry and the military and work together to prevent devastating cuts to vital defense programs and the loss of over a million American jobs.”