McMorris Rodgers supported the House Republican budget, and she has been hearing concern about sequestration from military families around Fairchild Air Force Base in her district.
Military service members and representatives from the states defense industry are struggling to figure out where and how the ax might fall.
Our members know cuts are coming, but the cuts built into sequestration are extreme, and overnight, said Sean Murphy, executive director of the Portland-based Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition. The organization advocates for defense manufacturers and contractors.
What makes sequestration a bigger issue is the uncertainty that surrounds it, he added. No one knows for sure what programs will be cut or eliminated, or if Congress will take corrective action or not.
Lewis-McChords new garrison commander is in the dark, too.
Hodges was at a public meeting in Lakewood Tuesday when he asked Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to make sense of whether sequestration will move forward and what kind of impact it might have.
She replied that lawmakers never intended for sequestration to take place when they wrote it into a bill called the Budget Control Act of 2011. She couldnt say exactly how it would impact the country, but she said Congress would have a clearer picture next month when a report is due detailing probable cuts.
No one wants sequestration to happen. It is just about the wrong way to do anything, said Murray, who last year led the supercommittee that was tasked with making a plan to reduce the nations deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.
Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, said its time for leaders in the House, Senate and White House to sit down and make a deal to at least remove the threat of sequestration.
So far, he said few voters are talking about the spending reductions even though they could severely hurt the economic recovery.
Ive been trying to talk this up and trying to get some action on it, he said. Theres been a void on leadership here in all corners.
The whole idea of the Budget Control Act was to help the economy, help unemployment and reduce the deficit, said Dicks, who is retiring this year. If we let this happen, it will hurt the economy, it will make unemployment worse and itll hurt the deficit, so its totally counterproductive.