Two of Hampton Roads’ federal lawmakers plan to draw attention to the effects of impending cuts in defense spending during separate events in the region next week.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine will be in Norfolk and Newport News on Tuesday to talk with shipyard and Navy officials as he begins a three-day swing through Virginia.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott is hosting a community forum Tuesday night in Newport News to discuss the implications of more than $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts spread over 10 years that are set to begin March 1.
The automatic cuts come at the same time the Pentagon has announced it also is slashing other spending because of $4.6 billion in budget shortages this year. Both lawmakers, along with others in the region’s congressional delegation, have said they want to avoid the deep cuts because of their negative effect on the region’s defense-rich economy and the damage to the national defense.
Scott, a Newport News Democrat, is scheduled to be joined at the forum by Vinod Agarwal, an Old Dominion University economics professor. The 90-minute session begins at 6 p.m. at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, 5720 Marshall Ave.
Details of Kaine’s schedule have not yet been released but are expected to include visits Tuesday to Newport News Shipbuilding and Norfolk Naval Station to talk about the Navy's plans to slash spending, including canceling or delaying ship repair and construction projects, furloughing civilian government workers and reducing training time, to deal with the budget shortfall.
The Virginia Democrat is slated on Wednesday to visit Quantico Marine Corps base in Northern Virginia and the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond. His stops on Thursday include touring the VA Medical Center in Salem, meeting with National Guard troops in Salem and visiting in Charlottesville with the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Virginia.