(House of Representatives - November 13, 2013)

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[Pages H7001-H7002]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Turner) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. TURNER. Madam Speaker, yesterday in Dayton, I hosted a community 
forum regarding the impacts of sequestration on Wright-Patterson Air 
Force Base in the Dayton community. We had a distinguished group of 
local leaders who participated in the event. The expert panel included 
Colonel Cassie B. Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing and installation 
commander; Jeffrey C. Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton 
Development Coalition; Chris Kershner of the Dayton Chamber of 
Commerce; and Carl Francis of Dayton Defense, a nonprofit group that is 
an advocacy group for the defense community in Dayton, Ohio. Each of 
these local leaders explained how sequestration has affected our 
community in 2013, and what the effect would be if the sequester 
continues. For a community like Dayton with such a strong relationship 
to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio's largest single-site 
employer, the message was devastating.
  The Budget Control Act of 2011, which I voted against, was signed 
into law on August 2, 2011. The Budget Control Act established a series 
of spending caps and forced reductions designed to indiscriminately 
reduce government spending by nearly $2 trillion over 10 years. These 
forced reductions, also known as sequestration, greatly impact our 
national security by requiring the Department of Defense to reduce its 
budget by roughly $500 billion. Already in its second year, this poorly 
conceived and flawed process continues to compromise our defense 
capabilities and greatly impacts military communities like Dayton, 
  Reducing Federal spending is important, but the sequester, as 
proposed by President Obama, applies 50 percent of the cuts to less 
than 18 percent of the spending. The Department of Defense represents 
less than 18 percent of overall Federal spending. Due to the 
President's sequester, this year roughly 14,000 Air Force civilian men 
and women have been furloughed in the State of Ohio as a direct result 
of the sequester. These forced furloughs have not only cost our State 
tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue but have negatively 
impacted nearly 30,000 men and women who work at Wright-Patterson and 
reside in our community. If allowed to continue, I fear the effects of 
sequestration will devastate the region and potentially result in a 
loss of 13,000 jobs. The loss of jobs, matched with reductions in 
spending, could cost our community in Dayton roughly $8.6 billion.
  While it is important to note the impacts to Dayton, we must also 
take into consideration the impacts to our national security and the 
future of our country. The President promised sequester would not 
happen, and yet, the Department of Defense suffers under the effects of 
these drastic cuts. As many of the experts pointed out, sequestration 
will greatly compromise military readiness and modernization for years 
to come. Without a ready and able force, our military will no longer 
possess the capabilities necessary to rapidly and effectively respond 
to conflicts around the globe.
  During recent testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, 
the various service chiefs have made numerous statements outlining the 
devastating effects. Of note, the Army has been forced to cancel all 
combat training center rotations for those brigade combat teams not 
slated to deploy to Afghanistan or to be part of the global response 
force. That means that we only have two out of 42 combat Army brigades 
fully trained and ready to deploy in a crisis.
  The Navy has canceled multiple ship deployments as a result of the 
devastating budget cuts, including the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier 
Strike Group that was scheduled to deploy to the Middle East earlier 
this year. Due to the cuts in training and maintenance, we have had to 
reduce deterrent presence in order to retain the ability to surge our 
ships if needed in a crisis.
  Important modernization efforts are also taking a hit as a result of 
sequestration. Air Force leaders have told Congress that 
``modernization forecasts are bleak.'' These modernization efforts are 
critical as many of the assets in our current inventory are decades 

[[Page H7002]]

  It is imperative that we find spending cuts to offset sequestration 
on the Department of Defense. Our military leaders have come to 
Congress on numerous occasions to explain the limitations the budget 
cuts are putting on our national security. It is legislative 
malpractice for this Congress to continue to put our Nation at greater 
risk. The President needs to come to this Congress with a proposal to 
offset sequestration in a responsible manner so the Department of 
Defense can be restored, our national security protected, and the 
community of Dayton, Ohio, no longer suffers the effects of