MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI/AP) --- Several local companies warn that automatic cuts to the country's defense budget could cost hundreds of Rhode Island jobs.
The sequester is scheduled to begin on March 1 and is the result of Congress' failure to trim the deficit by $1.2 trillion over a decade. The Pentagon faces a $46 billion budget reduction through the end of September, and additional cuts would come in future years as long as the sequester remains in effect. The military also has to absorb a $487 billion reduction in defense spending over the next 10 years mandated by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011.
The Obama administration has pushed Congress to come up with a deficit reduction plan to prevent the cuts, but so far Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on a deal.
In a news release Friday, the Southern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA) said sequestration "could have catastrophic results" on Rhode Island's defense companies.
According to SENEDIA, its members would have to cut over 2,000 defense jobs by September, unless Congress averts sequestration.
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