Steenbergen Predicts Local Sequestration Impact
Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dale Steenbergen says federal sequestration cuts scheduled to go into effect on Friday would hurt the local economy.
He says the biggest impact on the Cheyenne area will be on civilian employees and contractors at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Steenbergen says barring some kind of agreement between President Obama and congress that would delay or eliminate the cuts, he expects civilian employees of the military to face one day furloughs every work week for at least the next six months. Steenbergen says the furloughs could have a significant impact on the local economy because the furloughed employees would have less money to spend in local businesses.
He adds that if an agreement is reached fairly soon that would end the furloughs the economic impact would be minimized, but he says the longer the furloughs continue the bigger concern it would pose for the economies of Cheyenne and other communities that are home to military installations.
The sequestration cuts would not eliminate military personnel, but do cut back on military equipment and programs, which is why the impact would fall on civilian employees and contractors, according to Steenbergen. He says over the long term he is also concerned about the impact of military cuts on national security, especially in regard to the country's nuclear capabilities.