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February 26th, 2013
11:12 AM ET

Navy Sec. Mabus: If sequestration hits, '90,000 government workers in Virginia will lose 20 percent of their salary'

In three days, forced spending cuts will slash $85 billion from the federal budget unless legislators are able to come to a deal with the administration.

President Obama is heading to Newport News, Virginia today to talk about the impact the sequester would have on jobs and the shipbuilding industry.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will be joining the president and he sits down with Soledad this morning to explain how the Navy will be effected by budget cuts.

"There's going to be some real impacts to Navy readiness. We've already had the delay the "Truman" strike group going to the Middle East. We're going to have to delay an amphibious ready group going out. If sequestration keeps going, we're going to have to take down four of nine carrier air wings and it will take us a year to get them back and it will cost two or three times as much," Mabus explains.

"If we lurch from this budget crisis to the next artificial budget crisis, and that's the continuing resolution at the end of March, we'll start cutting some significant number of workers here. We'll lose about 7,500 workers by the end of the year, and these are highly skilled, highly motivated people who build ships that nobody else can build," Mabus says. "And if sequestration hits, you're looking at the possibility of furloughing 5,000 workers at the public shipyard here, and you're looking at another 40,000 government workers here in the Norfolk area and 90,000 across Virginia who will lose 20 percent of their salary before the end of the year."

Filed under: Budget • Navy • Sequestration
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