Rep. Cheri Bustos issued an op-ed critical of the impending sequestration cuts, citing significant potential affects to the area's economy and citizens. She said she has been opposed to sequestration from the very beginning.
"These cuts, also known as sequestration, could deal a big blow to the economy of our region and lead to job losses," she wrote. "These cuts will impact us all and could wreak havoc on our region's economy."
Here is how:
The Rock Island Arsenal is the largest employer in our region, with about 8,000 workers. Sequestration will force the Army's civilian workforce at the Arsenal to begin furloughs. Army analysis shows the Arsenal could lose close to $200 million from the automatic budget cuts
Cuts to the Arsenal also will have a trickle-down effect throughout the region. People will have less money to eat out, see a movie, buy a car and shop in our small businesses. We cannot afford to let this happen.
In addition to jeopardizing national security and readiness, sequestration could harm border security, food safety programs, as well as airline safety and security.
In Illinois alone, close to 3,000 children could lose access to Head Start, 50,000 people could lose access to job training programs, 5,000 fewer children could have access to vaccines, funding for law enforcement and first responders could be cut, and the list goes on.
"Rather than argue about how and why we got to this point, now is the time for both parties to work together to find a bipartisan, common sense plan to stop these cuts in their tracks," she wrote.