Arlington, Va. - The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) today is calling on our leaders to immediately de-couple sequestration from the broader fiscal cliff negotiations. Risking American lives and livelihoods for political leverage is wrong. In the final hours before the sequester is implemented, there is one step that must be taken while the broader fiscal cliff solution is found - unbundle sequestration from the broader tax and entitlement program negotiations, reverse sequestration before December 31st.
Since being rolled into the Budget Control Act as a doomsday policy that was never intended to be implemented, sequestration has now been revealed for what it really is - leverage in political brinksmanship. The victims of this political gamesmanship will be the warfighters who risk their lives to protect our country and the American workers who will start losing their jobs when this game implodes on January 2, 2013 ... and everyone in our country, and our allies and trading partners, who will suffer the consequences of a weaker America.
It is widely understood by the American public that our fiscal crisis requires tough decisions on both the spending and revenue sides. More than $487 billion has already been cut from the defense budget over the next ten years. A balanced solution requires that everything be put on the table - including tax reform, entitlement reform and further cuts to federal budgets. But it is time to cease and desist using a mindless, across-the-board $1 trillion budget cut as a bargaining tool, a tactic that treats the men and women of our armed forces as pawns on a chessboard, along with American workers from all walks of life.