Shipyard speech will be covered

Published 10:45 pm Monday, February 25, 2013

When you pick up Wednesday’s Suffolk News-Herald, you can expect to see a front page filled with coverage about sequestration, the automatic budget cuts that are set to take place nationwide on Friday if Congress doesn’t compromise.

Of course, we all know Congress never does anything but delay the nation’s progress, so the closest thing to a compromise we can expect to see is a delay on the cuts for a couple months so we can all go down this happy road again sometime soon.

But I digress. The centerpiece of our front page will be coverage of President Barack Obama’s Tuesday visit to Newport News Shipbuilding, where he will call upon Congress to make a deal to avert the cuts, which are expected to cost millions of jobs throughout the country.


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I’ll be covering the event firsthand and will be excited to be able to say I’ve seen a sitting U.S. president in person, which isn’t something a lot of people get to do.

But there’s a serious mission to the president’s visit — one that could affect many Americans and will hit Virginia particularly hard. In an undeniably partisan document issued by the White House, Obama says cuts in Virginia this year alone will include $14 million for schools, less aid to low-income college students through work-study jobs, 1,000 fewer slots in Head Start and Early Head Start for at-risk children, nearly $3 million in environmental funding, less grant money for law enforcement and less military funding — the reason for holding the event at the shipyard — among many other things.

I’ll be paying close attention to the president’s speech, and I hope all Americans will hold their elected leaders accountable for whatever happens with this fiasco.