Va. Senator chairs Budget Committee hearing on impact of sequester cuts
Jul 23 2013
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today chaired a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the impact of sequester spending cuts on national security and the U.S. economy. Sen. Warner, who describes sequestration as “stupidity on steroids,” sought to highlight the disruptive and inefficient impact sequestration is having on small businesses that work with the Department of Defense. Sen. Warner invited Mark Klett, the CEO of Virginia Beach-based Klett Consulting Group, Inc., to testify at the hearing. Mr. Klett testified that the sequester cuts have required him to “bench” up to one-third of his 60+ employees for weeks and months at a time.
“Our constant shuffling from crisis to crisis has left businesses from Northern Virginia to Norfolk unable to plan more than a few months in advance, costing them valuable resources and limiting their ability to guarantee workers stable employment,” Sen. Warner said. “If we don’t come together in Congress and find a permanent replacement for sequestration – a broad, bipartisan agreement that includes both tax and entitlement reforms, as well as smarter spending cuts – we will continue to see this type of waste and inefficiency. This is no way to do business.”
Many small and veteran-owned businesses perform vital national security responsibilities, and the uncertainty caused by sequestration affects their bottom line as well as their ability to keep our country safe. Most drastically, it makes long-term planning and efficient budgeting impossible.
“In a time when efficiencies need to be created,” testified Mr. Klett, “sequestration introduces inefficiencies and delays… Because of this uncertainty in budgets, programs cannot plan to execute to meet missions efficiently. The government’s inability to execute timely contracts for what is needed in critical areas lead to overall waste of funds and the government is getting less products in the end… I plead with all of you here in the Senate to work for the best interests of our country so that sequestration can be avoided.”
Since joining the Senate in 2009, Sen. Warner has been a consistent advocate for federal workers and Virginia’s military families and veterans. In 2010, he co-founded the bipartisan Gang of Six, which worked for two years in an effort to find common ground on solutions to our nation’s deficits and debt. As chairman of the Budget Committee’s Task Force on Government Performance, Sen. Warner has worked to bring greater efficiency, accountability and transparency to government programs and spending.