Senators visit Fort Gordon - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Senators visit Fort Gordon

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FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) -

As the CSRA's largest employer, Fort Gordon has an economic impact of more than 2.6 billion dollars. But soon the military base could be facing some big cut backs after potential budget cuts kick in.

"Come January 2, 2013, we're going to have to make a decision about who's going to keep their job and who's going to lose their job. It's that serious!," says U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss.

Chambliss and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson are touring communities that have military installations. This morning,  they warned Augusta leaders how sequestration, or spending reductions, could weaken our nation's security and Georgia's defense infrastructure.

"We thought that when we passed legislation last August that sequestration would be such a poison pill that nobody would want to swallow it. But the 12 members of the super committee that were established to make the cuts, in the end, they couldn't reach agreement," says Isakson.

Now the military could see a 492 billion dollar reduction over the next 10 years; that's on top of a 487 billion dollars in defense reductions already in place under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Rumors of sequestration hit military personnel at Fort Gordon; questioning the future of their retirement and health care benefits.

"How is that going to affect the benefits that we were told that we were entitled to, both now while we're still serving and also into retirement?" says Battalion Commander Eduardo Granados.

"Because we're going to have to take care of them, we're going to have to reduce spending elsewhere. And so other aspects of the military, whether it's ONM, purchasing weapons systems or whatever will be impacted in a disproportionate measure," says Sen. Chambliss.

And as the senators travel across Georgia, they'll continue to champion  a proposal promising to reduce federal deficits by 4 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, but will need support from the military-base communities.

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