President Obama will visit Newport News Shipbuilding next week, a local shipyard known for being the sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear powered aircraft carriers and one of only two of the nation's nuclear power submarine builders.
President Barack Obama will visit Newport News Shipbuilding on Tuesday as part of his public campaign to sway Congress to block automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programs that are scheduled to begin on March 1, a White House official said Thursday.
The Hampton Roads visit - Obama's first since his re-election in November - comes at a time when he and Republican congressional leaders have been sparring over who is to blame for proposing the cuts and the inability to stop them.
Although details of the presidential trip were not released Thursday, the White House official said Obama will focus his remarks on the negative effects on jobs and middle-class families.
Pentagon officials say the cuts will lead to significant reductions in military operations and unpaid furloughs for hundreds of thousands of civilian defense workers. Hampton Roads' economy, which derives almost half its income from defense-related businesses and government operations, is particularly vulnerable to federal spending reductions.
"If Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research," Obama said in a speech earlier this week.
However, several Republican members of Congress, including at least one Hampton Roads legislator, say the president is to blame for the cuts and has been unwilling to consider GOP proposals.
U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes is one of a minority of Virginia's federal lawmakers who opposed the sequester legislation, which will force $85 billion in cuts starting in March, and pointed out in a statement Thursday that Obama endorsed the measure.
"I knew over 17 months ago how devastating sequestration would be to our nation and our region," Forbes said. "Now that our nation is days away from these devastating cuts, I'm pleased he is visiting our region. I hope it is the first step towards working with the president to overturn the bill that he signed into law."
Forbes is stating there the dirty little secret the media is helping to hide. President Obama signed the sequestration bill into law.
The whole sequestration idea was one the White House dreamed up in an attempt to force Republicans to the bargaining table back in July 2011 during that time frame's debt-ceiling negotiations yet with a compliant and lap dog press and a low information voter more interested in seeing who The Bachelor is boinking or what Nicki Minaj is saying on American Idol, the President has been able to effectively blame all of this on the Republicans, most of whom have been inept and weak and gonadless in the debate.
In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of people are looking in the coming weeks to lose their jobs while the political elite play chicken.
In the end, this visit will be nothing more than yet another photo op... allowing the President to hang out with some soon to be unemployed steelworkers, blame Republicans, then walk away while the Press plays the hand the President deals them.
It's all rather disgusting.
Whatever happened to integrity in this country?