Defense cuts could impact 100,000 jobs - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Defense cuts could impact 100,000 jobs

The defense budget will be cut nine and a half to 10 percent The defense budget will be cut nine and a half to 10 percent

A harsh round of federal budget cuts could cost Huntsville thousands of jobs.

The White House released a report on the upcoming automatic spending reductions known as "sequestration." The cuts are due at the end of the year.

Experts on government budgets and contracts said this could easily cost more than 100,000 jobs and the impact would be especially harsh in communities that depend heavily on defense spending like Huntsville.

The White House said the cuts will be deeply destructive to national security, that sequestration is bad policy and calls on congress to take action to avoid it.

The defense budget will be cut nine and a half to 10 percent, more than $50 billion next year alone.

That would have devastating impact in industries that work with the military like many of the businesses in Research Park.

The report pointed out that these automatic cuts were never really meant to happen, just the threat of them was supposed to force budget negotiators to reach a deal to cut the federal deficit, but they never could.

Tennessee Valley businesses have been getting advice on how to deal with the cuts from Alan Chvotkin with the Professional Services Council.

"Guessing at that is a real blood sport these days," said Chvotkin. "I'm not overly optimistic about the prospects but I sure hope there is one, because the implications of triggering sequestration are pretty draconian on the agencies, on the contractors and on the workforce."

There's a plan already on Capitol Hill that would head off the deep cuts to defense and protect all those jobs.

Thursday, the U.S. House of Representative passes a bill sponsored by Florida Republican Allen West to prevent the sequestration cuts from affecting defense, but the Obama administration is threatening to veto it.

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