WASHINGTON — In his first speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Bremerton, on Thursday highlighted the local impact and concerns that people in the Kitsap region have about across-the-board cuts that will go into effect at the end of the month.
For example, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard announced it has postponed its job fair and will not fill 500 vacant positions. Kilmer emphasized the need for Congress to act and advocated a balanced, long-term solution for addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges and growing the economy.
Kilmer agreed with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee, saying "these cuts aren’t happening because we’ve thought about them strategically. They’re not happening because we’ve identified wasteful spending. They’re not happening because we’ve discovered some new technology that makes it cheaper to keep our nation safe. They’re only happening because they are, as [Carter] put it, 'the collateral damage of political gridlock.' ”
"Puget Sound Naval Shipyard needs to be able to actively recruit and hire workers. Our local economy needs it and our national security depends on it," Kilmer told the House.