HANOVER, MD — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today hosted a roundtable discussion for Anne Arundel County and Ft. Meade-area businesses to talk about sequestration. Many businesses in Maryland depend on the federal government for contracts. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has estimated that sequestration could result in cuts to procurement budgets of more than $49 billion over 10 years. Such cuts could result in a loss of more than 282,400 jobs nationwide among suppliers and vendors who depend on DoD primary contractors.
On March 1, sequestration – automatic, across-the-board spending cuts – began to take effect. Unless Congress acts, sequestration requires $42.7 billion in cuts to defense programs and another $42.7 billion in cuts to non-defense programs over the next year. Cuts of this magnitude will have a profound effect on Maryland and our entire nation.
“Unfortunately, Congress has not compromised to avoid sequestration and cuts of this magnitude will have a profound effect on Maryland and our entire nation. Sequestration will have a very serious effect on small businesses here and around the nation. In Maryland, there are more than 6,900 small businesses that receive some federal contracts as primary contractors. Sequestration also will affect businesses that service prime contractors.”
“Anne Arundel County has a large concentration of Department of Defense workers at Fort Meade, numbering 57,000. But in the surrounding business parks, there are tens of thousands of defense contractors working in direct support of the DOD,” said Robert L. Hannon, President and CEO of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. “At this early stage of sequestration, it is the uncertainty that will reverberate through the local economy. This uncertainty may be more troubling to the local economy than sequestration itself.”
“Sequestration is a reality and it will impact businesses throughout the entire nation, especially in the Fort Meade region. We applaud Senator Cardin for convening this discussion to determine ways to help our businesses and protect jobs during this challenging time” said Deon Viergutz, President, Fort Meade Alliance.
Senator Cardin listed some of the effects of automatic, across-the-board cuts:
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guarantees could be cut by up to $902 million;
- According to Stephen Fuller of George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, small business prime contractors with the federal government could account for 34 percent of the jobs lost under sequester;
- According to the Congressional Budget Office projections, 750,000 people nationally will lose their jobs and the economy will shrink by .6 percent by the end of the year;
- The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates projects sequestration could mean a loss of 12,600 jobs, resulting in a reduction of Maryland wages and salaries by $2.5 billion; and,
- In this fiscal year alone, sequestration could cost the state $150 million in federal grants to state and local governments.
“I am working with my colleagues to develop a budget reduction plan that will end sequestration as soon as possible. We need approximately $1.4 trillion in deficit reduction, which I believe is achievable through a balanced approach that includes both increased revenues and decreased spending.”