November 07, 2013

In Armed Services Hearing, Kaine Tells Joint Chiefs: Congress Can Fix Sequestration

Kaine calls on active duty military personnel, veterans & patriots to urge budget conferees to achieve budget deal by Dec. 13 deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, participated in a hearing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the impact of sequestration cuts on each branch of the military. In his opening comments, Kaine reiterated how sequester cuts have disproportionately impacted Virginia, as well as noted the important role the Budget Conference Committee, of which he is a conferee, can play in finding a bipartisan solution to reversing the non-strategic and unsustainable cuts.

“The effect of sequester on Virginia is just so palpable in all the communities that I visit,” Kaine said. “It’s very important that we say this…sequester is because Congress hasn’t done a budget. And Congress can fix it.”

Kaine added that any member of Congress who directs blame toward anyone else, including the Administration, is doing so “in an effort to avoid looking in the mirror.”

Citing the ongoing Budget Conference as the clearest path to reversing sequester cuts, Kaine called on all Americans connected to the military to urge conferees to find a budget deal.

“Whether you’re active, veteran, or just a patriot, tell the budget conferees…get a budget deal by the 13th of December. Because what you need is certainty and a path out of sequester,” Kaine said.

In closing, Kaine asked General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, to elaborate on his testimony in respect to the impact of sequester cuts on civilian employees – a population that includes tens of thousands of Virginians 

“I’m ashamed of the way we’ve treated our civilian marines,” Amos said in response. “As I look back at how we went through the furlough and how we went through the government shutdown - the professionals that are working on our airplanes, our ships, our tanks, our equipment…when I look at them in the eye, I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed because I think they are every bit as patriots as we that wear the uniform are.”

The next meeting of the Budget Conference Committee will take place on November 13.