Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: April 30, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

In Letter to Federal Leaders, Governor Northam Urges Action on Economic Threats Posed by Sequestration and Default

Governor underscores devastating impacts to Virginia and the country that would result from sequester cuts and failure to raise debt limit

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders, urging them to take prompt action to avoid potential damage to the economic stability of the country and the Commonwealth of Virginia that a failure to raise discretionary spending caps and increase the statutory debt limit would cause.

“In addition to the harmful consequences of cuts to non-defense spending, Virginia’s economy would suffer immensely from cuts to defense spending, as our Commonwealth is the state with the largest share of its economy tied to such funding,” Governor Northam writes. “I urge you to consider the impact that sequestration or default would have on the citizens we all serve.”

See below or click here for the full text of the letter.

April 30, 2019

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-230
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-224
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

President Trump, Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy:

I write today urging you to work together to raise the discretionary spending caps for Fiscal Year 2020 and to increase our nation’s statutory debt limit. If these two fiscal challenges are not resolved, the results for Virginia’s economy – and our nation as a whole – will be catastrophic.

When Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, the across-the-board spending cuts – often called “sequestration” – were never intended to occur. These draconian cuts were supposed to be so severe that they would force Congress and the President to come to an agreement on deficit reduction. Thanks to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, our nation is currently operating with increased spending limits for the current fiscal year. However, if an agreement is not reached to raise the spending limits for FY 2020, both defense and non-defense discretionary spending will be slashed indiscriminately. In addition to the harmful consequences of cuts to non-defense spending, Virginia’s economy would suffer immensely from cuts to defense spending, as our Commonwealth is the state with the largest share of its economy tied to such funding.

Our nation’s fiscal stability faces an additional challenge as we approach the statutory debt limit. Current estimates project that the current debt limit will be reached sometime in September. A default, or even the potential of a default, could “roil global financial markets and create chaos,” according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The world depends on the economic stability of the United States, and a default on our debt would shatter the confidence of domestic and international markets. We simply cannot allow a default to occur.

While I understand the complex nature of these problems, I implore you not to allow partisan politics to jeopardize the economic stability of our country and the Commonwealth of Virginia. I urge you to consider the impact that sequestration or default would have on the citizens we all serve. Thank you for your time and service to our country.

Sincerely,

 

 

Ralph S. Northam

 

CC:      Senator Mark Warner

            Senator Tim Kaine

            Representative Rob Wittman

            Representative Elaine Luria

            Representative Bobby Scott

            Representative Donald McEachin

            Representative Denver Riggleman

            Representative Ben Cline

            Representative Abigail Spanberger

            Representative Don Beyer

            Representative Morgan Griffith

            Representative Jennifer Wexton

            Representative Gerry Connolly

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