Wilson Sends Letter to Budget Committee Conferees on Behalf of SRS and Fort Jackson

Nov 14, 2013
Press Release

This afternoon, Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) sent a letter to all members of the Budget Conference Committee, including House Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) and Senate Chairwoman Patty Murray (WA), regarding the upcoming fiscal negotiations as it pertains to sequestration. Because of current law established under the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Department of Defense and Department of Energy's budgets will experience further reductions in January. Congressman Wilson has taken a proactive approach to encourage his colleagues to find alternatives so that our national security and South Carolina’s economy remain protected.

The letter reads, “As you continue negotiations over the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, I commend you and your fellow budget-conference committee members for taking on the difficult task of working towards a budget solution.  It is my hope that a reasonable solution to the arbitrary sequestration cuts is found while providing a blueprint that will put our country on a more sustainable path.

“As you and your fellow Committee Members begin the negotiations process, I ask that you make a concerted effort towards ensuring these essential cuts are made as strategically and responsibly as possible. I voted against the Budget Control Act because I knew that sequestration’s broad and indiscriminate cuts would decimate our military capability and strategic national security assets across the country.

“In South Carolina’s Second Congressional District, we have seen the effects of the sequestration cuts firsthand. The Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) provides the country with defense environmental cleanup efforts, nuclear weapons activities, and fulfills international non-proliferation agreements. SRS has been forced to furlough and layoff thousands of workers over the last year. The Site has also seen dramatic scaling back of vital national security missions that will drive up the overall costs of these projects.

“One hundred miles northeast of Savannah River Site is Fort Jackson.  Fort Jackson is the Army’s largest basic combat training installation and is tasked with training new Army recruits with the basic yet essential combat skills that every Soldier must possess.  Sequestration has caused significant disruptions to training due to many Department of the Army civilians being furloughed, especially medical personnel.  Training budgets have also been reduced and threaten to degrade the quality of training that these Army trainees receive.  These budget cuts are already undermining our national security in the form of military readiness and threating the well being of our men and women in uniform."

Budget Conferee Sequestration Letter