While Tuesday and Wednesday’s meeting at the Pentagon were productive for members of the Regional Business Alliance’s team in Washington, D.C., the news wasn’t always good.
Part of the group spent Tuesday at the Pentagon and Wednesday with the state’s federal congressional delegation, where they heard about the chances for a continuing resolution by the end of the day (pretty good) and the effects that the budget impasse in Congress was having on defense efforts (really bad).
“The looming effects of sequestration, the slicing of the Army, upcoming BRAC (base realignment and closure), we heard about all of those from Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson,” said Boeing’s Tony Przbyslawki. “Then, we heard about the same information from the Air Force that afternoon.”
And both groups provided information that was difficult to hear for the Colorado Springs delegation: the military has too much infrastructure — about 30 percent over its needs — and that leads to closing bases and consolidating missions.
“So here they are, trying to deal with sequestration, which is always in their face, and trying to plan with 80 percent of the 2015 budget and the need for a continuing resolution — while trying to do their jobs and defend the nation,” Przbyslawski said. “It’s hard for them. I have a soft spot for the people assigned to the Pentagon. It’s a tough balancing act.”
And the group moved from the Pentagon yesterday to the halls of Congress Wednesday, hearing much of the same frustrations.
“Our Congressional delegation talks about how they are trying to work together — (Cory) Gardner and (Michael) Bennett both are working on bipartisan solutions, but we just need everyone else to get together and move the nation forward in the right direction,” he said. “And it was good to get our concerns in the Pikes Peak region in front of them.”
It’s the third year that Boeing has sent a representative with the Colorado Springs group, and Pzbyslawski said the experience is invaluable.
“There are so may issues that are at stake for Boeing right now — the new tanker we’re working on, we’re competing for the new long range striker bomber,” he said. “Getting to hear about these budget issues from the people dealing with them is so invaluable. But it’s all so uncertain right now, it’s a heck of a way to run a business.”