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Central Pennsylvania Worried about Coming Defense Cuts

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  • August 17, 2011
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With several military installations that employ thousands of workers, central Pennsylvania has a lot at stake as local officials and business leaders wait to find out how much of a blow defense spending will suffer as a result of the recent agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

The region is home to Fort Indiantown Gap, Letterkenny Army Depot, Carlisle Barracks, the Naval Support Activity in Hampden Township, and the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Susquehanna depot in Fairview Township, reports the Patriot-News.

Federal workers make up about 5 percent of the midstate’s employment base; most of those workers are employed at the area’s military bases. Still, the diversity of the region’s military missions should help to lessen the impact of a cut to any single defense program.

“Our eggs aren’t all in one basket,” one local CEO told the Patriot-News.

The initial round of cuts included in the deal to raise the debt ceiling calls for $900 billion in discretionary savings, which is estimated to reduce defense spending by $350 billion over 10 years. If Congress fails to approve a second round of at least $1.2 trillion in cuts, an equal amount of spending reductions would be imposed, split equally between defense and non-defense programs.

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