Mayor Filner weighs in on sequestration cuts - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

Mayor Filner weighs in on sequestration cuts

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The impact of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts President Obama ordered Friday has yet to be immediately felt.

But San Diego's Military community is expected to be hit hard.

The Pentagon alone is being forced to slash more than $40 billion out of its budget.

Sunday, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner sat down with News 8 to talk about the impact of sequestration in America's finest city.

"People are going to be hurt. The economy will not grow as quickly as it would have. Unemployment will not go down as quickly as it would have. And there are lives behind that," said President Obama.

On March 1st, President Obama signed the order setting in motion the largest across-the-board federal spending cuts in history.

"The Congress has just become dysfunctional and they allowed something to happen that is damaging to our whole nation, let alone SD," says Mayor Filner.

The $85 billion in cuts is being felt by every federal agency.

Mayor Filner says San Diego, having the largest Military population in America, with one of four jobs being defense related, is among the hardest hit cities in the country.

"We are particularly hard hit if they allow it to continue, which I hope it will only be a short run. But if they allow it to continue, there is going to be layoffs in the defense industry, at the shipyard for example," says Mayor Filner.

If not reversed, sequestration on the shipbuilding industry here in San Diego could mean the loss of 5,000 Maritime industry jobs.

More than 25,000 Department of Defense employees in San Diego could also face mandatory furloughs.

"Hopefully the federal issue, the national issue, will work itself out without us being harmed too much but we have to diversify here," says Mayor Filner.

The mayor says he will try and lessen the hits that are coming from the national level by capitalizing on local strengths. He wants to create more jobs in the tourism, biotech and trade industries.

"We have so many strengths here and we have to develop more international trade, for example not just with Mexico but with Asia and with other parts of the world," says Mayor Filner.

Filner also says the health industry in San Diego will be hit hard as well. 

Furloughs could start in mid-April.

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