Palazzo says defense cuts will endanger Mississippi economy and defense posture

Fourth District U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Biloxi) said that the defense department and America’s military face cuts approaching a trillion dollars next year, and Mississippi and the U.S. economy will be greatly impacted by the cuts if they occur.

The Mississippi congressman also said the U.S. defense posture around the world would be damaged if the military is weakened by draconian cuts mandated by Congress. There are thousands of ship building jobs along the Gulf Coast that are at risk, he said. The process is called sequestration: If Congress does not make the appropriate cuts, automatic cuts go into effect, and the Department of Defense is the main target.

Palazzo was in Picayune for a noon brown-bag town hall meeting with constituents at Magnolia Columns on South Curran Avenue. He told about 100 residents and Pearl River County officials who turned out for the event that proposed defense cuts are the major issue with him.

Palazzo is facing re-election on Nov. 6. He is in his first term, and as a U.S. House member, must stand for re-election every two years. He unseated veteran Democratic U.S. Rep Gene Taylor of Bay St. Louis during the November 2010 election. Taylor had held the seat for 21 years.

Said Palazzo, “We are trying to prevent any more irresponsible and irreversible cuts to national defense. Right now we are looking at $500 billion in across-the-board cuts in January 2013 if nothing is done.” He said the cuts will hollow out the military and put “the country’s national security at risk.”

Picayune Item