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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. military is preparing for a financial battle starting Friday as part of the sequestration process. That's a series of huge, automatic budget cuts that go into effect if a budget deal isn't reached. The U.S. military will bear the brunt of those cuts. Cuts to the military is raising fears about our country's ability to defend itself.
Sequestration will knock the feet from under America's military. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (D) says, if it comes to pass, he'll furlough the vast majority of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) put it this way - until Congress restores sense to common - no member of Congress can love what sequester will do to America's military might.
"What this will mean is that it will have a terrible effect on protecting the nation from harm," says Mikulski.
Fewer ships will ply the seas, jet fighters will have less latitude to roam the skies, a reduced number of customs border agents will be on hand to thwart drug traffickers and terrorists. Even veterans health insurance is in limbo. A shortfall by as much as $3 billion could mean retirees on the outside looking in - on medical care they can't get. California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R) is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
"It's going to be hard for us to have the military we need," says Hunter. "You can track going back thousands of years, a nation's strength and its economy tied to its navy, especially."
Beyond planes, ships and furloughs is the growing threat of cyber attacks.
"The biggest military threat right now is probably the cyber threat and if the cuts start reaching into those areas you could shoot this economy down without firing a shot and that's scary," says University of Baltimore Associate Professor Steven Isberg.
Government watchdog David Williams with the Taxpayers Protection Alliance says many people are making cuts at the Pentagon much scarier than they are.
"When these cuts are made, we are going back to 2007 funding levels," says Williams. "The country was safe in 2007, it's going to be safe in 2013 with these cuts."
An economic ripple effect for states and cities is undeniable. Those furloughs, tentatively scheduled to start in April, will immediately hurt states with a large military footprint. There would be plenty of job related losses. Some of the hardest hit states include Texas with nearly 92,000 losses, Florida with over 39,000 losses, and Maryland and Pennsylvania with 36,000 losses.
Tuesday, February 26 2013, 12:58 AM CST
House passes 2-year moratorium on dam barriers
May 21, 2013 19:12 GMT
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The U.S. House has passed legislation that would put a two-year moratorium on an Army Corps of Engineers plan to erect barriers to prevent people from fishing below dams on the Cumberland River.
U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield heralded final passage of the Freedom to Fish Act on Tuesday. Whitfield was a leading proponent of the measure in the House.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was co-sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Whitfield said the bill thwarts, at least temporarily, an effort to "take away some of the best fishing in Kentucky." Passage of the measure, Whitfield said, allows time to work out a permanent solution.
The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for consideration.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: iPHONE RECOVERED AFTER THEFT IN OREGON
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- A smartphone, plus a not-so-smart criminal -- equals an arrest in Oregon.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- George Washington University students will soon be walking all over the White House and the Capitol, too.