Two Republican Georgia Congressman made stops in Central Georgia Tuesday and they say they're working to alleviate the affects of sequestration, particularly on the military. Those across-the-board spending cuts kicked in March 1st.
Jack Kingston visited Fort Valley State University and Austin Scott came to Warner Robins.
"It's a bad way to do business. It was supposed to be an axe that was a threat and not supposed to actually fall," said Representative Kingston. "I am trying to pass a regular defense appropriation bill that would give the military the flexibility that they need to cut wasteful spending and also to make sure that there is stability. There are so many things that they can do if we pass legislation, so were pushing hard for that."
"We've got to cut spending. The problem with the sequester in regard to national security and defense is the way its being applied and approached in the military," said Representative Scott. "We passed an appropriations measure for the military just a couple of weeks ago that's the first real appropriations measure they've had in several years. They've been operating under a continuing resolution for several years. So now, they've got a little flexibility. That's been good for Robins to have that flexibility."
The pending legislation Scott talked about prompted the Department of Defense to delay furloughs for its civilian workers for two weeks, that includes 15,000 workers at Robins. Officials at the Pentagon are looking at how it could affect their budget.
Scott says there's a possibility the legislation could reduce the number of furlough days each employee would take. It was set at 22.
"That has a ripple affect all through the economy. It's not just the man or the woman out there on the line that loses a day's pay. That's a day's pay that doesn't get spent in the community," said Scott. "We're extremely concerned for this area. We're in meetings on a regular basis with the Air Force and doing everything we can to minimize the impact."
Scott represents Georgia's 8th District which includes Robins Air Force Base. Kingston represents the 1st District, which is Southeast Georgia.
The two men differed on the likelihood of a future round of base closings.
"I think the possibility for a base realignment and closure commission coming out in 2015 is pretty strong and one of the things that we want to do at Warner Robins, the logistic centers but also in Albany, the marine base and everywhere else, make sure our military facilities are up to speed with new missions and new buildings and that were supporting our troops there," said Kingston. "I don't think there is a state that comes second when it comes to Georgia taking care of the military."
"I expect the president again will ask for a round. We're on the subcommittee where that first vote is going to come. One of the key things I will tell you, I hope we don't go through a BRAC process," said Scott. "BRACs don't save money in the short term. What I will tell you is it's going to be difficult for an BRAC piece of legislation to pass through the house and senate, I believe."