Possible Budget Cuts Have Clarksville Leaders Concerned
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Possible, massive military cuts on the horizon have local leaders sending a strong message to Washington, D.C.
Clarksville leaders are worried $500 billion in possible Defense Department cuts could have a negative impact on Fort Campbell.
Thursday night, the Clarksville City Council will most likely pass a resolution that said they want the federal government to stop a massive round of military cuts from hurting Tennessee's largest employer.
"Ft. Campbell is the largest employer in Tennessee. Their payroll is several billion dollars a year," said Councilman Nick Steward.
Steward and other leaders are taking the unusual step of supporting a federal piece of legislation called the Down Payment to Protect National Security Act. The bill would prevent across-the-board military cuts. Instead, the federal workforce would be cut by ten percent.
This is all happening because last year, Congress couldn't come up with a plan to cut more than a trillion dollars from the federal budget. Because of that, a process called sequestration, $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts, is expected to happen in 2013 and last for ten years.
"Over a thousand days, the Senate hasn't passed a balanced budget so know we are looking at sequestration in order to balance some of the spending that Congress has been doing over the past few years," Steward said.
With sequestration, $ 1.2 trillion of automatic spending cuts will happen over 10 years, mandated by the Budget Control Act. About half the cuts, $500 billion would be in defense, with about $55 billion set to take effect in January, unless Congress acts to prevent them. Many members of Congress oppose the automatic cuts, but so far, lawmakers have been unable to reach a deal to stop them.
Meanwhile, House Republicans have passed a one-year delay in defense cuts. In the Senate, Democrats are still working on their own proposal.