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Representatives: Continued Sequestration Could Threaten CNY Military Installations

A congressional delegation representing three key military installations across central and northern New York stopped by Hancock Air Base to make the case against potentially deep defense department budget cuts.  

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro; John Katko, R-Camillus; and Richard Hanna, R-Bareneveld at Hancock Air Base. An MQ-9 reaper drone is behind them.

  Freshman Republican Elise Stefanik represents Fort drum in the 21st district.  She says if the federal sequester budget is allowed to continue, it could have an impact on troop training…and consequences on military readiness.

"This is something that I've heard every visit I've taken to Fort Drum; on a recent congressional delegation to Afghanistan where I was able to meet 10th mountain soldiers who are deployed...this is an issue that was raised with me.  So, it's going to be very important this year to fight back against sequestration."

"We're not talking about just a base to save the base."  Congressmember John Katko represents the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock air base.  

Hanna has represented the 22nd district including Rome Labs and other defense operations at Griffiss Technology Park since 2011.  That top line number he mentions is $561 billion for the president’s defense department budget, and Hanna says a growing number of members are committing to that amount.  That would spare bases nationwide from sweeping reductions in soldier and civilian forces under sequestration.  The delegation says such draconian cuts are no longer needed, and the prospect alone makes it unnecessarily difficult for the military to plan. All three representatives plan to attend a hearing for Fort Drum March 20th in Watertown.   

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at