It is getting to the point where they are on the border of begging.
Nine of the thirteen members of Virginia's Congressional Delegation wrote to President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking for a speedy, bi-partisan solution to the budget sequester showdown.
"The Commonwealth of Virginia, with its long history of contribution to our national defense and to the federal government, will bear a disproportionate amount of the pain imposed by these arbitrary cuts should they come to pass,” the letter reads.
Only four members of the Virgina Congressional delegation did not participate. Rep. Eric Cantor (R), the House Majority Leader, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R) and Rep. Robert Hurt (R).
It is not uncommon for Cantor to not sign on to congressional delegation letters, because of his role as Majority Leader. His spokesperson Megan Whittemore said today that he is very much committed to seeing an end to the sequester. A problem they continue to blame the White House for.
“Congressman Cantor sponsored and the House twice passed legislation to replace the President’s sequester cuts with responsible reforms. The President hasn’t budged, and his only solution appears to be more taxes," Whittemore said in a statement. "That won’t help Virginia families. We want to work together to find a common-sense solution to replace the President’s harmful sequester cuts. Rather than opposing our efforts, President Obama and Senate Democrats should join us.”
Those that did participate represent a broad bi-partisan swath of the Commonwealth. Many of them, like Rep. Rob Wittman (R), Rep. Randy Forbes (R) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D) represent areas heavily dependent on the defense industry.
Both of Virginia's Senators, Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D) signed on to the letter as well.
The letter is short, only three paragraphs and doesn't offer an specific ideas as to how to break through the sequester stalemate. It essentially is a call to action to the three people with the most sway to begin the negotiations.
You can read the entire letter below.
Full text of the letter follows:
February 15, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
The Honorable John Boehner
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr. President, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Leader:
As a bipartisan delegation of Virginia lawmakers representing wide-ranging interests and viewpoints, we write to show unified support for immediate action to avert the devastating impacts of sequestration. The Commonwealth of Virginia, with its long history of contribution to our national defense and to the federal government, will bear a disproportionate amount of the pain imposed by these arbitrary cuts should they come to pass.
These reductions, while harmful to the entire U.S. economy, will be particularly devastating to Virginia. According to a study published by George Mason University, nearly ten percent of the 2.1 million jobs that would be lost as a result of sequestration will come from Virginia. Of these 207,571 Virginia jobs, 136,191 will be lost as a result of cuts to defense, 71,380 job losses will result from reductions in non-defense spending. Further, sequestration would result in a loss of $20.8 billion in gross state product. The consequences of a failure to avert sequestration will ripple through all parts of our state economy and could lead to a hollow military force and a government unable to adequately respond to the needs of its citizens.
We stand ready to work hand-in-hand to negotiate an agreement to avert these cuts that threaten grave consequences for the Commonwealth, our federal government, and our national security.
Sen. Mark Warner
Sen. Tim Kaine
Rep. Frank Wolf
Rep. James P. Moran
Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
Rep. J. Randy Forbes
Rep. Robert J. Wittman
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly
Rep. Scott Rigell
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