MANDUS GROUP

Q-C's 2 congressmen tour local defense contractor

2013-02-20T02:30:00Z 2013-02-20T09:26:58Z Q-C's 2 congressmen tour local defense contractorEd Tibbetts The Quad-City Times
February 20, 2013 2:30 am  • 

With large budget cuts less than two weeks away, the Quad-Cities’ two congressmen toured a local defense contractor Tuesday, lamenting the fact they weren’t in Washington, D.C., working to resolve the matter.

Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., toured Mandus Group, a small Rock Island company that employs 45 people. It’s one of dozens of companies in the Quad-Cities that have a hand in the defense industry.

The military cuts would amount to $42 billion nationwide through the end of September, the first part of 10 years worth of reductions. An equal amount of cuts to non-defense programs also would take place.

In the Quad-Cities, the Rock Island Arsenal is one of the area’s largest employers, so much of the focus on sequestration’s impact has been on it. On the island, thousands of civilian workers face the potential of 22-day furloughs. But there also are contractors in the area that could feel the pinch. Mandus is one of them.

During Tuesday’s tour, company leaders showed off work on a hydraulic mobile maintenance system and a low-recoil howitzer it has had in development. Sam Kupresin, company vice president, said it’s not clear yet what impact the budget cuts would have on the firm. But Paul Rumler, vice president of the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce, who was along for the tour, told the lawmakers many of the companies are bracing themselves.

“Everybody’s preparing for the worst,” he said.

Vista International Operations, a private firm based on the island, employs 115 people. It provides information technology support to several Arsenal-based agencies. Craig Roberts, the company’s chief executive, said Tuesday he couldn’t predict the impact, either. But, he noted, if defense civilians are furloughed, his company could feel it, too. “If they furlough workers, they don’t need IT support. It could very much reduce our workload,” Roberts said.

About 500 Quad-City area companies have worked on $1.7 billion worth of military contracts over the past 10 years, according to the chamber. That works out to about 1 percent of the Quad-City area’s $18 billion annual economy. But it’s also a slice of the economy that area officials hope will grow, given the presence of the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center and agencies on the island that deal with large military contracts.

The budget cuts, which also go by the name sequestration, are due to take effect March 1. They were set in motion by a 2011 debt ceiling agreement between President Obama and congressional Republicans.

Bustos joined a letter to House Speaker John Boehner last week, complaining about going on a weeklong recess with the matter unresolved.

Loebsack added the cuts are indiscriminate. “Sequestration is an easy decision. It’s an across-the-board cut. It’s not really making the hard choices that people are telling us we have to make,” Loebsack said.

The White House and congressional Republicans continued to snipe Tuesday over the prospects of the cuts.

The president has proposed replacing them with a combination of automatic spending reductions and revenue increases, while the Republican-controlled House last year passed a bill that would have eliminated the cuts on the defense side and pushed more of the reduced spending to non-defense programs.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats last week proposed a plan to replace the sequester with a combination of cuts to farm programs, new taxes on millionaires and defense cuts. The defense cuts would take place after the drawdown in Afghanistan has ended.

Liberals have pushed for Pentagon reductions, noting the base Pentagon budget has climbed from about $290 billion in 2001 to approximately $525 billion for 2013. Congress and the White House have already approved $487 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, but some progressives say the defense budget could give more.

Neither Bustos nor Loebsack said Tuesday what scale of defense cuts they might support. Loebsack said he thought “efficiencies” could be found in the military budget but that his priority is to ensure that the Arsenal be kept in a state of readiness.

Copyright 2016 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. TNTND
    Report Abuse
    TNTND - February 20, 2013 8:33 am
    We need the politicians to pass "Bowles Simpson". It's been on the shelf since 2010.
    We need courage to do what's right for the USA, not what good for the D's or the R's.
  2. PainfullTruth
    Report Abuse
    PainfullTruth - February 19, 2013 7:09 pm
    What in the heck is Bustos doing touring a defense contractor for in the first place? She ran her platform on spending cuts for the military yet she has time to tour a defense contractor? For what purpose? Is she going to come back and apologize to the workers when they lose their jobs because she would rather give more money to the "takers" vs. the "makers"? She should be embarrassed for being the biggest hypocrite in her district.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Quad-Citians show support for return of passenger rail

Quad-Citians show support for return of passenger rail

Quad-Citians are waiting to hear “full steam ahead” for the return of passenger rail to the Quad-Cities as work continues on a station where A…

1 hour ago Photos

Photos

(1)

Journalism professor: 'Don't kill the messenger"

Journalism professor: 'Don't kill the messenger"

Journalists represent the Constitution of the United States, and “the right to know,” a communications instructor said at a speech Sunday at S…

1 hour ago Photos

Photos

(0)

Budget hearings wind down: Decisions ahead

Budget hearings wind down: Decisions ahead

MUSCATINE, Iowa — After nearly 24 hours of meetings over the past week on the city's proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget, the City Council starte…

5 hours ago

Mayor, aldermen grapple with fire cuts

Mayor, aldermen grapple with fire cuts

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch's response to simmering frustrations over fire department staffing levels that were expressed to him and alderme…

14 hours ago(8)

Space heater caused Rock Island fire, survivor says

Space heater caused Rock Island fire, survivor says

Valencia Henderson said she is taking life one day at a time after escaping a fire that tore through her Rock Island home Saturday afternoon.

14 hours ago Photos

Photos

(1)

Caucuses, reliant on volunteers, succeed despite challenges

Caucuses, reliant on volunteers, succeed despite challenges

CEDAR RAPIDS — Planning for the Iowa caucuses can be like preparing for a winter storm not knowing whether it will be ice or snow or how much …

20 hours ago Photos

Photos

(0)

Obama built bipartisan reputation in Illinois Senate

Obama built bipartisan reputation in Illinois Senate

SPRINGFIELD — Given the deep partisan divisions that have characterized his presidency, it strikes some as odd that Barack Obama is returning …

20 hours ago Photos

Photos

(7)

High school robotics teams compete

High school robotics teams compete

 Davenport West High School freshmen Brandon Seamer, Zack Drumm and twins Ethan and Ben Gabriel watched Friday night as the robot they designe…

February 06, 2016 6:22 pm Photos

Photos

(0)

Fat-tire bikers dig in on Credit Island

Fat-tire bikers dig in on Credit Island

Ripping over the torn ground, mud splattering their day-glo outfits, nearly  100 bikers rode into Davenport’s Credit Island Park on Saturday a…

February 06, 2016 4:48 pm Photos

Photos

(0)

Bettendorf expo makes science exciting

Bettendorf expo makes science exciting

Adelaide Rhodes crawled through a colorful play tunnel that simulated the human outer ear — complete with a sheet of bubble wrap covering the …

February 06, 2016 1:23 pm Photos

Photos

(0)

'Operation Methed Up' nets 46

'Operation Methed Up' nets 46

It started in August with a tip about a possible methamphetamine lab in a Davenport trailer park.

February 06, 2016 1:00 pm Photos

Photos

(31)

Davenport board supports Tate's position against state

Davenport board supports Tate's position against state

Warning Davenport School Board members of the legal troubles they might face if they support his position, board president Ralph Johanson has …

February 06, 2016 4:30 am Related (0)

Gaul, Cullen honored with Iowa journalism awards

Gaul, Cullen honored with Iowa journalism awards

Quad-City Times reporters Alma Gaul and Jack Cullen were recognized by their peers on Friday when representatives of Iowa’s daily and weekly n…

February 05, 2016 8:00 pm Photos

Photos

(0)

8 things to know about Davenport's $201.7 million budget

8 things to know about Davenport's $201.7 million budget

Davenport city leaders are looking to pull a few more dollars out of the pockets of property owners and residents as it seeks to raise fees in…

February 05, 2016 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

(8)

Home show opens weekend run in RI

Home show opens weekend run in RI

The 39th annual Quad-Cities Builders and Remodelers Association Home Show offers just about everything you would need for your home and yard.

February 05, 2016 6:21 pm Photos

Photos

(0)

Audit identifies spending issues in Davenport fire accounts

Audit identifies spending issues in Davenport fire accounts

The Iowa state Auditor's Office said Friday it has identified more than $4,000 in improper or undocumented spending between 2009 and 2014 in t…

February 05, 2016 5:45 pm(0)

Scattered flurries and a low of 24

Scattered flurries and a low of 24

Good evening, Quad-Cities. Here is your National Weather Service forecast.

February 05, 2016 5:00 pm Video Related (0)

Clinton sheriff to run for re-election

Clinton sheriff to run for re-election

CLINTON, Iowa — Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln has announced he will seek a fifth term as sheriff.

February 05, 2016 4:55 pm(0)

Party insider: Dems should consider GOP-style voting

Party insider: Dems should consider GOP-style voting

DES MOINES — Iowa Democrats should consider altering their presidential precinct caucus procedures to look more like the vote conducted by Rep…

February 05, 2016 3:30 pm(1)

Drivers in fatal drag race crash plead guilty

Drivers in fatal drag race crash plead guilty

A Carbon Cliff teen and Davenport man have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a double-fatal crash in October.

February 05, 2016 2:30 pm(1)