VIRGINIA BEACH - This is the transcript of the live interview with Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1st D.) and 13News Daybreak anchors Vanessa Corian and LaSalle Blanks on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.
Q: What is the potential impact of sequestration, based on your conversations in Washington?
A: I think it will be significant. We know that for Virginia that we can have an impact upwards of 200K jobs, an economic impact of over $20 billion,. We know this is going to be significant. We have to do all we can to set aside the sequester, to make sure that as we look at reducing the budget that we do it in a smart and thoughtful way. These indiscriminant cuts on our military are not the way to make these cuts happen.
Q: Who do you blame?
I think we're at the point where blame doesn't matter. I think right now we need to be focusing on how do we set aside these cuts, how do we make sure we support our men and women in uniform, support our military, give them the resources that they need to do the great job they do to protect this nation and defend our interest abroad.
Q: These cuts would be far reaching, affecting more than just the military.
A: They do. Not just the people who work for the Defense Dept., but also the contractors and then all the businesses in the community that support our DoD civilians, support our men and women in uniform and the contractors. This is a really close-knit network here, so the economic impact is not just direct, it's indirect- all those thousands of jobs that are there to support our military.
Q:What can you and the president do to stop this? Can it be done by Friday?
A:I hope so. What all of us can do is to make sure we assume a leadership role. We put forward our ideas, we focus on getting this done, to make sure we set these cuts aside , but we don't lose focus on making sure we understand that we have a deficit. We have to address that. There are smarter and more thoughtful ways to do that than just indiscriminately cutting our military.
Q: Will you get it done by Friday?
A: I hope we do.
Don't miss our special report on this important issue Friday at 7:00 pm. Submit your questions on our Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #hrsequester.