July 8, 2015

CONTACT: Travis Smith (907) 258-3077

Sequestration cuts cause troop drawdowns in Alaska

Congress’ sequestration cuts hit Alaska hard, especially at Anchorage’s JBER.

ANCHORAGE: It was announced that Anchorage stands to see a reduction of 2,600 troops and Fairbanks will see 75 troops withdrawn. Department of Defense sequestration cuts are because of a 2011 budget deal from Congress. Military leaders have warned Congress about the overall effects of sequestration on the military. 

In particular, the Department of Defense cuts have caused a rift between Congressional Republicans. In March The Washington Times reported, “Military service chiefs warned Tuesday that American lives will be at greater risk if lawmakers refuse to lift the sequestration cuts set to take full effect in fiscal 2016…”

Murkowski supported enacting the sequestration cuts, but in 2013,  APRN reported, Murkowski said the sequestration cuts were a problem: “I’m so concerned that in an effort to chase the dollars, in an effort to drive down the costs we’re putting our country, we are putting our national defense in jeopardy because decisions are being driven by sequestration and we’re not keeping our eye on the bigger picture.”

However, today Lisa Murkowski changed her view and “challenged” the fact that these cuts are due to sequestration, despite military personnel saying otherwise. Along with challenging military personnel, Murkowski tried to shift blame onto the White House, even though the President called for a lift of the sequestration cuts back in January. 

“Murkowski claims that these troop reductions are the fault of President Obama and military leaders, but that’s clearly not the case,” Said Mike Wenstrup, chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. “Murkowski supported enacting the sequestration cuts, but she later acknowledged in 2013 that the sequestration cuts were putting our national defense in jeopardy.  Contrary to what Murkowski claims now, the Republicans controlling Congress did not fix the problem with sequestration. If they had, these troop reductions would not be happening.”