News / USA

Sequestration Budget Cuts Hitting Defense Contractors

Sequestration Budget Cuts Hitting Defense Contractorsi
X
March 08, 2013 5:20 PM
The U.S. budget cuts known as Sequestration are projected to reduce government spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts are already being felt by U.S. defense contractors. VOA’s Brian Padden visited eastern Virginia, site of the country’s largest naval base and an area that could sink into recession if these cuts stay in place, and he filed this report.
Brian Padden
The U.S. budget cuts known as Sequestration are projected to reduce government spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts are already being felt by U.S. defense contractors.

Davis Interiors is a small company in Norfolk, Virginia that makes specialized furniture and fixtures for U.S. navy ships.  Administrator Whitney Metzger says the firm is already feeling the impact of sequestration.  

“We have had to cut back on employee hours. Almost everyone in this company has had to go down to a four-day work week. Some employees have had to go down to a three-day work week. We are anticipating lay-offs, probably soon,” said Whitney.

Davis Interiors is one of the many private contractors in Eastern Virginia that service the nation’s largest naval base and other military installations.  All together, they employ more than 40,000 people.

The Defense Department’s plan to furlough almost 90,000 employees has not yet impacted the regional economy. But the cancellation of maintenance contracts for 11 ships based in Norfolk is already causing pain to contractors like Davis Interiors.

David Williams has worked for Davis Interiors for 25 years. He says this is the second time in two years that government budget cuts have caused sudden work slowdowns.  

“I am very concerned about it because, I mean, I am still trying to recover from the last time this happened, and you get behind on your bills, and you struggle,” he said.

Whitney Metzger says with foreign wars winding down, defense contractors in the area know that military spending will be reduced, but the sudden sequester cuts are too severe and could put them out of business.

“We don’t know what is going to happen.  We have contracts that we have been awarded that we will be able to see through, but after those, because of sequestration, no new contracts are being issued to anyone," said Metzger.

Defense contractors in this region are the first to feel the impact of the sequester, and, if they remain in place, economists predict the entire state of Virginia will soon spiral into recession.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid