At Preci Manufacturing in Winooski, precision components for the aerospace and defense industry are constantly being built.
"Anything that flies -- like helicopters, tanks, submarines, ships -- you name it," said the company's Jeff Grunvald.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Who is your biggest customer?
Jeff Grunvald: The U.S. Government.
Seventy-five percent of the business is government contracts. That's why all the talk about sequestration has the company bracing."Not knowing is worse than knowing because not knowing there's no way to plan for it and that's a big issue," Grunvald said.
So what exactly is sequestration -- to put it simply, it's mandatory federal budget cuts scheduled to go into effect by March 1st.
"Passed and approved legislation signed by the president back in 2011 when they had the budget battle that would implement across the board cuts to the U.S. Budget," said Col. Stephen Pomeroy with Norwich University.
Those across the board cuts will be triggered if President Obama and Congress don't agree on a plan to reduce the nation's deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. Non-defense discretionary programs, or those that don't have earmarked funds, will see cuts of roughly 9-percent. The Defense Department is bracing for a 13-percent cut to its budget.
That means civilian employees at the Vermont National Guard could see a shorter workweek.
"If sequestration is enacted there will be a big impact, particularly on civilians and that translates into some our military technicians who are civilians as well as military members, so there could be a budget impact that will affect Vermont," said Vt. Adjutant General Steven Cray.
Things like Social Security, Medicaid, the food stamp program and veterans' benefits will be exempt. Some government employees will be subject to furlough and/or layoffs. Airport security screeners, customs agents and air traffic controllers would face a day of furlough every two weeks.
"These will be real cuts, but real cuts to the 2013 budget which was 8-percent larger than the 2012 budget, so you'll have the same money to work with as we had in 2012," Col. Pomeroy said.
As far as Preci -- the company isn't sure how or when the cuts could effect business. "Where it trickles down and when it starts effecting major programs I have no idea," Jeff Grunvald said. "Am I worried? Not in the immediate future."
President Obama is looking for a 50-50 mix of spending cuts and tax increases to replace the sequester while Republicans say they will not raise taxes.
When it comes to the state, Governor Shumlin said sequestration wouldn't be pretty but it has no specific plan in place.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:57 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:57:59 GMT
Four colleges, including Dartmouth, are now facing federal complaints over their handling of rape allegations. Other colleges facing complaints include Swarthmore College, University of Southern California,More >>
Four colleges, including Dartmouth, face federal complaints over their handling of rape allegations.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:02 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:02:01 GMT
A Townshend man will be in court for breaking into a house and making himself at home. Police say last Friday and again on Wednesday, they caught 34-year-old Jesse Johnson living in another man's homeMore >>
A Townshend man will be in court for breaking into a house and making himself at home.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:07 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:07:20 GMT
Montreal officials say the water in most of the city is unsafe to drink Thursday morning. A boil order has been issued through mid-day Thursday. They report ongoing work at the country's second largestMore >>
Montreal officials say the water in most of the city is unsafe to drink due to bacteria concerns.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:35 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:35:41 GMT
A system of strong thunderstorms swept through our region and the threat isn't over. In Burlington, crews are trying to fix a washout at the intersection of Manhattan Drive and North Champlain Street causedMore >>
A system of strong thunderstorms swept through our region and the threat isn't over. In Burlington, officials say the heavy dumping overwhelmed drainage systems.More >>