Beaufort County Council is urging Congress to avoid $1 trillion in Defense Department budget cuts that local officials say will wreak havoc on the area’s military bases and economy.
County Council passed an unanimous resolution Monday asking Congress to avoid the “poison pill” of budget sequestration and find a better way to balance the federal budget, according to a news release.
The resolution asked “that a clear message be sent to the House and Senate (armed services committees,) to all members of Congress, to all members of the South Carolina House and Senate and to the governor of South Carolina that immediate action is hereby demanded to avoid sequestration and urge that a solution be found so that America can continue to protect itself and its interests.”
“Further,” the resolution states, “this council encourages its residents to contact the members South Carolina’s congressional and state delegations, as well as all members of the House and Senate armed services committees by calling, writing letters and emailing these representatives to make it clear that we are united with one clear voice that sequestration is wrong for America.”
Officials have painted a grim picture of the military’s future as a result of budget sequestration in January 2013, which would trigger more than $1 trillion in mandatory cuts from the Pentagon's budget.
More than $600 billion in defense cuts were included in the Budget Control Act as a penalty if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction failed last year to reach consensus on a way to reduce the national debt. The bipartisan panel failed to reach such a resolution.
The Pentagon already planned to cut more than $450 billion over the next decade, officials said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, appeared in Beaufort earlier this month and warned that such cuts would all but dismantle the Marine Corps and shutter the local installations.