WALDORF, MD — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today hosted a roundtable discussion in Charles County for Southern Maryland 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 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,” said Senator Cardin.
“We appreciate Senator Cardin taking time to meet with our business community, especially when sequestration, the federal deficit, and how to deal with these critical issues are at the forefront of concerns of our members, friends and neighbors. We hope to work with Senator Cardin to foster a solution that will help businesses in Charles County continue to thrive,” said Craig J. Renner, President of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce.
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,” Senator Cardin added.