BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Board of County Commissioners are weighing in on the potential local impact of sequestration, which is the March 1 anticipated across-the-board set of federal budget cuts that could threaten Brevard County aerospace and defensive industries.
Earlier this month, Commissioners voted 5-0 to send a letter requesting immediate action by the President and the Brevard County federal legislative delegation to eliminate the threat that sequestration places on national security, the local community and all Americans. The letter was drafted by Commission Chairman Andy Anderson, who said it came at the request of local defense contractors. Unless the President and Congress reach accord, Friday is the deadline in which forced cuts resulting from the sequestration would begin going into effect. The cuts will reportedly slash an estimated $85 billion from the federal budget, and cut an estimated $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending over the next decade.
“This could be an impact to us locally if these cuts go through as currently constructed,” Anderson said.
According to the letter approved by Commissioners, “Sequestration’s indiscriminate cuts will greatly affect the aerospace and defensive industries. The greatest impact will be felt by the smaller and mid-range subcontractors and suppliers of products unique to the industry. The aerospace and defense industry supports more than 3.5 million middle-class jobs with more than 30,000 suppliers from all 50 states, including ours."
The letter also states: "The aerospace and defense industry is an important driver of our economy. It is comprised of proud, productive and patriotic citizens. Ensuring opportunities for young people to have exciting and well-paying careers will keep the industry – and our communities – strong in the future. Sequestration is already degrading the industry’s ability to attract and retain these young, highly trained and skilled workers. They are vital to our industry, our national security and the economic health of our communities.”
The aerospace industry has already been depleted greatly in Brevard County due to the end of the Space Shuttle program. In 2010, there were 13,600 aerospace employees and that number is now as low as 5,600, the Commission letter states.
The letter concludes: “On behalf of our constituents and businesses deeply troubled by this high-impact issue, please accept our thanks in advance for your efforts to bring attention and resolution to this matter. Allowing sequestration to occur as currently planned is neither responsible nor is it strategic.”