Sequestration Takes Spotlight At Packed Town Hall

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MADISON, Ala.(WHNT)-Hundreds of people packed a town hall in Madison Monday night, with sequestration on the minds of many audience members.

The standing room only crowd at Madison City Hall voiced their questions and concerns to Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL5), who has been sounding the alarm on sequestration for months now.

The $500 billion in automatic defense cuts will be triggered on March 1st unless President Obama and Congress can strike a last minute deal, a prospect that Rep. Brooks said appears increasingly unlikely. Several audience members said they would be directly impacted by sequestration, noting layoff or salary cut notices they had recently received.

“My husband is going to be affected by that, we are going to lose twenty percent of our income,” said one woman, who voiced frustration over the current political gridlock.

Congressman Brooks said he and his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives had already done their part by passing a series of bills that would cancel or lessen sequestration. Rep. Brooks said those bills had been ignored in the U.S. Senate, which has not voted on any of the legislation passed by House members.

The defense portion of the federal budget is poised to take roughly fifty percent of all automatic cuts, even though that sector accounts for only fifteen percent of the federal budget. Congressman Brooks did not say if he would vote for last-minute legislation that included tax hikes if it would stave off defense cuts at Redstone Arsenal.

“What I’m going to do is wait till we have a bill on the House floor that I can study,” said Congressman Brooks, when asked the tax increase question. “Need to determine on balance what is in the best interest of America, our national defense, and our economy.”

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