Forced Army budget cuts will show themselves in military communities like the South Sound in slashed paychecks to furloughed employees and reduced opportunities for private companies to work on bases, senior Army officers said in a Wednesday news conference.
The impact will be immediate and long lasting, said Brig. Gen. Curt Rauhut, who oversees the Armys budget for construction, family programs and other installation support services.
He joined two other officers in laying out scenarios they expect if Congress fails to avert the $1.2 trillion budget sequester that is expected to begin Friday. About $85 billion of that sum would come out of this years budget.
The Army would lose $12 billion, and $461 million would come out of money that was expected to be spent in the Evergreen State this year, according to a report obtained by The News Tribune.
The pain wont really begin until April when furloughs of Defense Department civilians would begin. There are 29,000 of them in Washington State, and they stand to lose about $173.4 million in expected pay this year, according to a White House report on probable impacts of the forced cuts.
About 9,500 of them work at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and they would see their pay cut by about $57 million this year.
Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Smith of Bellevue submitted a bill Wednesday that would avoid the so-called budget sequester and replace its most draconian cuts with a slower and smaller reduction in federal discretionary spending.
Hes the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, and his proposal would take $167 billion from the defense budget over time.
Thats less than the $492 billion in forced defense cuts over the next decade that are called for in the sequester, but far more than Republicans want.
We have a deficit problem that must be addressed, Smith said in a news release. But we should not damage our economy and undermine national security in the process.
The Army has not released specific details about its plans to handle the forced cuts.
Some options that are on the table include: