Senators John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire stopped in Merrimack today as a part of their tour to discuss pending cuts to the defense budget.
McCain and Ayotte are seeking a bipartisan effort to prevent the Congress-enacted sequestration from going into effect January 1, 2013.
The sequestration was supported across party lines last year as incentive for each side to reach a compromise over the budget.
Since Congress could not reach an agreement, severe cuts to social programs and defense will automatically go into effect this January.
McCain called for New Hampshire residents to put pressure on their elected officials and President Obama to seek a compromise to the financial budget before it’s too late.
McCain says that only pressure from citizens could ‘break the gridlock and paralysis’ in Congress over this issue.
McCain says ‘everything is on the table’ in terms of reaching a compromise—as long as the budget cuts don’t harm defense.
According to a study by George Mason University, the sequestration would mean $500 billion in cuts to the defense budget. In New Hampshire, a projected 3,600 jobs could be lost, with more than 2 million jobs at risk around the country.
Protestors from Members of New Hampshire Peace Action, New Hampshire Citizen’s Alliance for Action and New Hampshire American Friends Service Committee protested outside the BAE facility in Merrimack where McCain and Ayotte were speaking.
Participants protested high levels of military spending and the consequence of cuts to social programs.