Defense-Related Companies Go On Offensive to Blunt Hill’s Budget Cutting Ax

Posted on October 4, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

By Carl Chancellor

When you’ve been charged with finding more than $1trillion in federal budget savings, as the so-called congressional Super Committee has, there can’t be any sacred cows.

Lawmakers looking to reign in spending to bring down the staggering national debt have targeted federal agency budgets across the board including the Pentagon. The House Super Committee, which includes six Republicans and six Democrats, is looking to identify something north of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. Should the Super Committee fail in its mission and miss its Nov. 23 deadline, or if Congress turns thumbs down to the committee’s plan, automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion would be triggered, with half of that amount, $600 billion, coming from defense spending.

The defense and aerospace industry is aimed at protecting their federal funding. Last month the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade association representing both large and small defense department suppliers, launched a lobbying campaign dubbed “Second to None” that aims to protect military and national security spending by highlighting the possible negative impacts of massive defense spending cuts.

According to the AIA website—“American leadership in aerospace and defense is being threatened by forces in Congress and the administration…The security of our troops, our technological future and our economic stability are all at risk. We must preserve jobs across the nation that keep our nation strong.” The group estimates that the aerospace and defense industry supports more than 2.9 million American jobs.

The AIA claims that significant additional reductions beyond the 10-year $350 billion in defense cuts already agreed to in this summer’s deficit reduction deal, would have a devastating impact on the country’s defense industry.

Reducing defense spending, however, doesn’t mean the cuts will fall solely on the Department of Defense but would also include cuts to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Energy.

Still, the AIA is busily cautioning lawmakers, specifically the Super Committee, to be extremely careful when it comes to targeting programs to meet their $1 trillion-plus goal. Those efforts shifted into overdrive in mid-September during National Aerospace Week as the industry hosted a series of Hill luncheons, meetings and exhibits to drive home the message that cutting the defense budget too deeply puts the country’s economic strength and national security at risk.

“Our message to the administration and Congress is slow down,” said AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey in a press release. She went on to stress that defense has been “cut to the bone” and that any further reduction would be catastrophic.

“Now more than ever we need the technologies and programs developed and manufactured by the industry to keep Americans at home and abroad safe, fix our aviation infrastructure and keep the United States a leader in space,” said Blakey.

Turner GPA is one of the premier, highly respected government and public affairs firms in the nation. Turner’s state-of-the-art advocacy has earned them respect and acclaim from the media, clients, policymakers and even their competitors! Turner advocates on behalf of cutting edge businesses, municipalities, and non-profits that wish to ensure their perspectives and needs are taken into account in Washington, in state capitols and in City Hall, as well as in the media. The firm creates and implements intensely focused and targeted advocacy campaigns designed to meet and exceed its client’s expectations and goals. For more information on Turner GPA, visit http://www.turnergpa.com or call 202-466-2511.

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