JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They are an important part of our community and our nation. But local military members are worried about their future, a future that could mean less money in our economy.
Action News has learned, thousands of local jobs are on the line unless Congress can find a compromise and avert mandatory military cuts totaling roughly $45 billion.
"We need to remind the federal government and people in Washington that the number one charge of the federal government is national security," said U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, of Gainesville.
The republican from Gainesville held a town hall meeting in Orange Park Saturday. He told Action News that he is working in Washington to help avert those mandatory cuts known as sequestration. Yoho suggests diverting funds from other sources and funnel into the Department of Defense.
"They have private contractors and they're paying x amount of dollars, and maybe that should go to a military person. Reroute the money, pay military and let the private go," said Rep. Yoho.
Action News has learned that 46,000 temporary and contract employees face layoffs and more than 10,500 local workers will face furloughs for 22 work days this year if a solution isn't reached.
"I look at the bad policies that led us here and we want to stop that so we don't have to have this discussion down the road," said Rep. Yoho.
According to Florida’s proposed sequestration, the high-flying entertainment the Blue Angels bring to Jacksonville Beach will be absent in 2013. If nothing is done in Congress, shows in Pensacola, Tampa and Jacksonville will be canceled. All aircraft maintenance in Jacksonville would be cut completely for the second half of 2013.