Governor Peter Shumlin has joined a bi-partisan chorus of governors warning against federal budget cuts that seem increasingly likely as a stalemate continues in Congress.
Shumlin was in Washington, D.C. over the weekend for a meeting of the National Governor’s Association. With the clock ticking toward Friday’s sequester deadline when automatic cuts take effect, the governor predicted the impact in Vermont would range across the board, from anti-hunger and housing programs to the Vermont National Guard.
"There’s no doubt that all of our military personnel in Vermont that I rely on to keep us safe and that we’re using right now to fight wars all over the world would see certainly be furloughed to a four day week. It might be bigger. We’re going to see equipment that is almost immediately grounded because they won’t be able to get parts. We are going to compromise the ability of the National Guard to do what they do best which is keep us safe," Shumlin told reporters.
Shumlin said the "sequester" cuts were never intended to happen because the deadline was supposed to force Congress to act.
"Obviously we’re doing everything that we can to put pressure on the Republicans in Congress to come to the table and not push the button on the sequester because the damage to the economy to our job growth to the fact we’re finally seeing results in growing our economy would be tragic and would be tough on the middle class who’s finally seeing some hope," Shumlin said.
The nation’s governors also went to the White House last weekend and Shumlin repeated some of the President’s talking points. Shumlin said the pending cuts threaten a still-fragile economy recovery.