Richmond, VA - Throughout this campaign, George Allen has promoted his all-cuts approach to the budget and claimed he is the 'only candidate' in this race who will protect the defense industry from spending cuts and job losses. Today, leaders in the defense industry spoke against George Allen's all-cuts approach, and instead backed Governor Kaine's balanced approach of looking at both significant spending cuts as well as revenues, to reach a solution and avoid sequestration cuts:
"The very real possibility that defense programs will suffer deep, across the board spending cuts early next year has major defense contractors and their allies making an unusual plea to members of Congress: Put everything on the table to avoid the so-called sequester — including higher taxes...A House Armed Services Committee hearing two weeks ago first exposed the rift. Under questioning from Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), two major defense contractors acknowledged that the GOP’s refusal to consider higher revenues was not conducive to solving the looming budget crisis.
'I think everything’s gotta be on the table at this point, now,' said a reluctant David Hess, President of Pratt & Whitney — a subsidiary of United Technologies. 'This is a personal opinion. I’m not speaking for the employees of United Technologies, or for UTC.'
Robert Stevens, CEO of Lockheed Martin, volunteered agreement. 'I know when we face challenges in our business — and i don’t intend to imply that the challenge we face come close to the magnitude of the challenges you face on this committee or the Congress faces at large, it really makes ours look pale — we try to put into the recipe every possible ingredient that might lend itself to the formation not just of a solution but in a perfect world a flexible array of solutions — comprehensive, integrated, thorough — that allows us the flexibility to run the business,' he said."
"It's time for George Allen to admit his all-cuts approach would hurt our nation's economy, Virginia's economy, and, in particular, Virginia's defense industry, and join Governor Kaine in calling for Congress to find a balanced solution to our fiscal challenges. As a senator, George Allen helped create this mess, and then made it worse last summer when he joined a vocal minority in urging default rather than compromise. Now, leaders in the very industry George Allen claims to be protecting have come forward to reject his approach. Virginia needs leaders like Tim Kaine who are willing to find common ground on our challenges, not leaders like George Allen who are too beholden to ideology to admit when they are wrong," said Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine.