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Virginia's governor to Obama: Don't let sequestration happen

Tuesday - 2/19/2013, 10:24am  ET

'Just don't make half of it (the cuts) defense'

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

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How Va. will feel budget cuts

WTOP's Hank Silverberg reports.

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The governor of Virginia is asking President Barack Obama in a letter to make good on his campaign pledge to avert automatic cuts to federal spending that would disproportionately damage Virginia.

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell says the threat of cuts from the 2011 Budget Control Act is already harming Virginia.

"The automatic sequestration reductions mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 are already having a significant adverse effect on the Commonwealth. When fully implemented, they could force Virginia and other states into a recession. Sequestration-mandated reductions will be implemented with no regard for relative national priorities. These reductions will have a potentially devastating impact in the Commonwealth, with the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions at the greatest risk," McDonnell writes.

But unless Obama and Congress agree on their own cuts before March 1, cuts known as the sequester would drain $85 billion from the government's budget over the coming seven months.

Virginia would feel the proportionately heaviest burden of any state. It has a heavy concentration of military assets, including the Pentagon and the world's largest U.S. Navy base at Norfolk, as well as defense and civilian government contractors.

"In the event that you and the Congress take no action and allow sequestration to proceed, we are estimated to lose approximately 82,000 direct jobs at federal agencies and contractors, and an additional 82,000 indirect jobs supported by business and personal spending that will be impacted by the cuts. Northern Virginia will absorb more than 60% of these losses, Hampton Roads approximately 20%, and Richmond 12%," McDonnell writes.

Read McDonnell's letter to the president.

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