Lockheed is one of Bucks County’s largest employers and about 1,050 jobs are set to be eliminated.
Despite net sales of $47.2 billion last year, the company is planning widespread cost cutting that would close seven plant in four different states for a total loss of 4,000 jobs. According to the statement on the company website, this development is necessary due to decreased government demands, presumably from the sequester.
“These actions are in response to continued declines in U.S. government spending,” Lockheed’s press release stated.
“Today’s plant closing news is incredibly disappointing,” Fitzpatrick said on Thursday. “I feel deeply for the hundreds of families whose outlook has become uncertain and I intend to do whatever I can to help these families chart their future.”
The Congressman asserted that he had implored the company not to close down the plant and praised the work the employees have been doing. He also claimed that he sought additional appropriations last spring but was unsuccessful.
“I have every confidence that our community will rise to this challenge and be even stronger in the future,” he concluded.
Fitzpatrick’s Democratic opponents, however, feel that the sequester cuts instituted by the Congressman and the House GOP led to this event. Shaughnessy Naughton, a chemist and businesswoman, put the blame for the closing on Fitzpatrick’s flawed economic theories.
“Congressman Fitzpatrick seems to lack a basic understanding of how our economic system works,” Naughton said. “We cannot cut our way to growth, and we cannot cut our way to prosperity. 1,050 people in the Eighth District are getting laid off because of the economic policies and deep funding cuts that Congressman Fitzpatrick supports.”
“I vow to fight for more scientific research funding in Congress, which will create local jobs, grow our economy, and reduce the budget deficit,” she promised.
Kevin Strouse, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, also stated that the Congressman’s support of sequestration led to this predicament.
“Now, over 1,000 families in Pennsylvania will have to figure out how to make ends meet because Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and the broken House GOP can’t get their act together,” Strouse stated in a press release. “Actions have consequences — and it’s clear that Congressman Fitzpatrick’s reckless votes are taking a real and painful toll on Bucks County families.”
The candidate called on Rep. Fitzpatrick to lift the sequestration levels that the government has been under since the beginning of the year.
“When will he fix the sequester that has had disastrous consequences for the middle class in the 8th District?”
The Newtown plant is scheduled to close sometime in mid-2015.