March 26, 2013 9:30 PM
Jim E. Winburn, Staff Writer
VICTORVILLE • Rep. Paul Cook spoke to local leaders Tuesday about the impact of federal budget cuts to High Desert communities and the prospects of living with the Affordable Care Act.
The Rotary Club of Victorville invited the congressman to speak at its luncheon at the Green Tree Inn’s Fireside Restaurant, where more than 100 people listened to the newly seated representative for California’s 8th District.
“We’re in this world of sequestration in terms of all kinds of government programs that are going to shut down,” Cook said. “It’s like playing Russian roulette where you have a round in every chamber: However you pull that trigger, bad things are going to happen.”
With a career spanning 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, the Republican from Yucca Valley said he was seriously concerned about the possibility of cuts to local military programs and installations, such as Fort Irwin.
“(Washington’s) talking about another BRAC, the base reutilization and closure, which will be absolutely devastating,” he said. “And we’ve got to be sure that politically we get ahead of that.”
Doug Robertson, City Manager of Victorville, asked the congressman just how real the sequester is. Cook said that training operations are being canceled at Fort Irwin, and many contracts are being suspended.
“It’s not just the big dogs like General Dynamics, it’s also the smaller contracts that make the little components that are worth a lot of money to these companies,” Cook said. “When they lose those contracts, you just don’t restart it over and over again.”
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