Warner Warns of Sequester Impact on Virginia

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) this week highlighted a new economic analysis revealing that Virginia would be hurt more than almost any other state by the sweeping automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect in two weeks. The new analysis, released Monday by economists Mark Vitner and Michael Brown of Wells Fargo Securities, identifies the greater Washington, D.C. region, which includes Northern Virginia, and Hampton Roads as regions which have the most to lose under sequestration. Last week’s Wells Fargo report notes that continued political uncertainty over sequestration “has been a weight on economic growth” this past year. The Wells Fargo analysis also notes that Virginia has a high level of exposure to non-defense spending reductions ranging from homeland security to biomedical research. The analysis echoes concerns raised by George Mason University economist Dr. Stephen S. Fuller last fall, who foresaw significant potential job losses in Virginia due to federal budget cuts, according to a statement from Sen. Warner. “It is frustrating that more people here in Washington do not have a sense of urgency about taking action to head-off these sequester cuts. The uncertainty already is having a real and negative impact on our economy.”