More than 3,500 organizations from all sectors of the economy and society joined forces today to urge Congress and President Obama to put an immediate end to sequestration budget cuts which threaten to send the economy reeling back into recession and destroy more than two million American jobs. Letters from NDD United, the Aerospace Industries Association and the Task Force on American Innovation urging immediate action were sent to President Obama and congressional leadership, with copies going to every member of Congress.
"Discretionary spending programs are not the reason for our growing debt, and yet they are always the first place lawmakers look for cuts," said Emily Holubowich, Executive Director of the Coalition for Health Funding and spokesperson for NDD United. "Our goal is to speak with one voice to educate policymakers and the public about the importance of these programs. When you do the math, sacrificing these programs not only wouldn't balance the budget, it would cripple our ability to grow in the future."
The unprecedented array of groups involved represents a wide variety of Americans, from manufacturers to health professionals, academic researchers to social workers. Their goal in uniting today is to draw greater attention to the devastating impact of sequestration cuts to all Americans, regardless of industry or sector.
"The danger that sequestration poses to the economy and our national security cannot be overstated," said Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "More than two million jobs are at stake from all sectors. Sequestration affects all Americans and we must pull together to set it aside."
According to a study performed by Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University, sequestration budget cuts would cost 2.14 million jobs, 1.05 million from spending reductions at domestic discretionary agencies and 1.09 million from DOD spending reductions. These losses would fall across all job descriptions from manufacturing to retail, from professional business services to federal workers and from researchers to nurses. Small businesses would be hit particularly hard, losing more than 956,000 jobs.
"Our nation needs a balanced, strategic approach to its fiscal challenges. The indiscriminate budget cutting required by sequestration is not the answer," said Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman chairman, chief executive officer and president. "We urge Congress and the Administration to work to together on a solution to avoid sequestration's devastating impacts on the nation's security, economy, all aspects of the federal government, as well as research and education that drives innovation in our country."
"Sequestration is a reckless and blunt tool that would force deep spending reductions across critical investments in research and education," APLU President Peter McPherson said. "If we're not going to develop the next technology at our universities then other nations will. These short-sighted cuts would result in the loss of 200,000 research-related jobs over the next four years alone and cause the U.S. to fall far behind other nations in developing the future technology that can power economies for decades. Why would we cede such extraordinary opportunities to China and India when we have the opportunity to continue leading the world in innovation?"
Scientific research drives innovation, productivity, job creation and growth. Technological advances such as the laser, the Internet and the Web, GPS, and the large-scale integrated circuit all had their origins in federally-funded, long-term research.
"Funding science and research is a necessary investment for a country that seeks to expand its economy and maintain its global leadership," said Association of American Universities President Hunter Rawlings. "Pulling back on those investments, especially when other nations are ramping up theirs, is short-sighted and will leave our nation less able to sustain the economic growth it needs to create jobs and eliminate budget deficits in future years."
To see copies of the letters and additional information, please visit http://secondtonone.org/stop-sequestration-press-conference-press-kit.
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