LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — It's a relatively obscure budget provision, but in Virginia and a few other places, sequestration has become a key issue in the November elections.
Unless Congress comes up with a fix before January, federal spending the following nine months will be slashed automatically and across most government programs by $110 billion, half from the Pentagon. That could mean big job losses, particularly in states with large defense contractors.
In Virginia, Republican George Allen has made sequestration a central issue in his Senate race with Democrat Tim Kaine.
The automatic spending cuts were part of last year's budget deal to let the government continue amassing debt.
Allen complains that the automatic spending cuts hold the military hostage to Beltway politics. Kaine says Allen's opposition shows his unwillingness to accept bipartisan compromise.