Looming Defense Cuts

The question of whether Congress will avoid the steep automatic spending cuts set to take affect in January is a big issue in communities that depend on defense spending, and a comment President Obama made at Monday night’s debate seems to be adding to the anxiety in those communities.

Reduction in defense spending is a large part of the $1.2 trillion in cuts scheduled to kick in Jan. 2. Obama said onstage in Florida, “it will not happen,” but campaign adviser David Plouffe quickly rephrased that claim, saying the cuts “should not happen.”

Such continued confusion and uncertainty about the fate of government spending hangs like a dark cloud over the swing state of Virginia, in particular Prince William County, where one in four residents works in a defense or government-related job threatened by the automatic cuts known as sequestration.

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