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El Paso County takes stand against sequestration

Published On: Nov 13 2012 05:19:39 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 13 2012 06:14:45 PM CST

El Paso County Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday in hopes the president will not go forward with the sequestration process, a process in which spending cuts will be split evenly between security and non-security functions.

Congress and the president have not been able to approve a federal budget, which has resulted in a default to a sequestration process.

This process declares that the spending cuts will be evenly divided between military and domestic programs.

“It’s an extraordinary impact on El Paso County, of course, because we’re so military-oriented.  These kinds of cuts into the military impact those primary employers, contractors and then secondary employers as well.  The numbers are pretty staggering,” said Amy Lathen, chair of the county commissioners.

Lathen said 18,000 jobs in El Paso County could be lost because of the sequestration process.  She said this is one of the many reasons a resolution against the sequestration process was passed early Tuesday morning.

“The resolution we passed today was to really send the message again to ask our congressional representation and the president to not enter into sequestration because of the impacts that it has on El Paso County citizens and our economy here locally.  So, we took a stand,” said Lathen.

Lathen said the resolution asks the president to pass a federal budget because, “it’s irresponsible and outrageous that they have not passed a federal budget in all these years.”  She said the government also needs to re-prioritize where the cuts will come from.

“All of those other issues won’t matter if we don’t have national security.  So, we’re asking them to prioritize and work through this process in a different way, not through sequestration,” said Lathen.

Lathen said in the event the sequestration process is delayed, El Paso County will continue to fight for the military and for the economy of the county.

“None of these arguments matter if we’re not a sovereign nation.  None of these arguments matter if we’re not secure,” she said.

To read the resolution, click here.


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