North Carolina has the 3rd largest military presence in the country, and our men and women in uniform get help from the people living in communities with military bases. 5,000 civilians work at Cherry Point in Havelock. 2600 at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, and they could be forced to take one unpaid day off per week until October. The goal is to save the federal government 136 million dollars in civilian department of defense salary in North Carolina. It is something Senator Kay Hagan is not happy about.
"We are counting on these individuals and special operations forces and it just seems incongruous we can count on that and still have cuts."
Senior senator, and republican Richard Burr thinks cuts need to be made to our military, but not at the expense of weakening our national defense
"It's my hope between now and then we provide military flexibility so that reductions in the area of defense can be made that doesn't affect readiness and doesn't affect our inner strength. In an ideal situation my cuts to the miltiary would not be this aggressive, but there would be some cuts and we have to challenge the Department of Defense to re-think the way they do things, to find ways to illiminate duplication."
State representative Walter B. Jones wants to save money by eliminating the high cost of fighting wars overseas.
"We spend 230 million dollars a day in Afghanistan. How can we spend money in country that is never going to change? We need to look at abandoning bases overseas that are not vital to the security of our country. We can't continue to police countries around the world."
Fort Bragg may feel the biggest impact. The Army Base in Fayetteville has 14,000 civilian workers. And Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro has eliminated this years air show. It's a move they hope will save $215,000 dollars. Military bases aren't the only places that could feel the pinch. Law enforcement and public health entities could also see a reduction in federal money. And North Carolina's public schools could lose 25 million dollars in federal help.
North Carolina Representative G.K. Butterfield says cuts to the federal budget alone are not the solution. "We can't cut programs vital to New Bern, Greenville, Snow Hill. It has to be balanced. There will be tremendous job loss that could send us into a recession. "
Butterfield is a democrat who wants tax reform. "We need new revenue. We have already cut 2.5 trillion million dollars from the budget and cut a lot of programs, and we are being told we need to cut another trillion. Economisits say can't cut our way out of the deficit. I'm not optimistic we are going to get a deal done. Republicans will never agree to tax reform, Democrats will never agree to entitlement reform."
Walter B. Jones doesn't think a deal will be done by March 1st, but says most people affected by the Sequester will not feel it until the beginning of April. And if a deal is not done, this years impact will be felt more because it is being condensed into a shorter time because the Federal fiscal year ends October 1st.