JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nearly $135 million in sequestration defense cuts will directly affect Jacksonville's military, according to an announcement made by the Department of Defense on Friday night.
Gov. Rick Scott received the unwelcome news while attending a dinner in Jacksonville. A letter from Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, outlined $182.2 million in funding cuts to Florida's military, with nearly 75 percent coming from local aircraft depot maintenence.
"It's infuriating," he said during an emergency news conference at The Jacksonville Landing. "A $135 million cut to Jacksonville would be devastating. They haven't done their job, and we're going to lose jobs because of their inaction."
Scott says he didn't expect sequestration cuts this high, and claims Washington is playing politics with people's lives. He says lawmakers aren't trying hard enough.
"They shouldn't be paid. Why would they get paid in Washington, D.C. when they're not doing their job?"
Scott thinks Washington should take a clue from Florida own budget battles.
"We didn't take a meat cleaver to the budget, we took a scalpel. It works if you do the right thing, but they haven't in Washington and now it's hurting our families."
Scott says he's already working with base commanders to come up with a plan to support military families across the state, and he's calling for immediate action.
"They need to stop sequestration right now. We don't need this in Florida when we're working diligently to turn our economy around."
The details of the cuts are still unknown, but Carter outlines additional military cuts in Florida including $3.2 million for four demolition projects in Pensacola, $7 million in cuts to the Army including Camp Blanding, and $37 million from projects at Cape Canaveral and Eglin, MacDill, Patrick and Tyndall Air Force Bases.
Carter adds, "We are still assessing detailed changes and will be able to provide additional information on cutbacks in Florida as we compile a more complete list."