Lawmakers Seek Assessment of Impact of Avondale Closing

by James Parks, Jan 28, 2011

Northrop Grumman is preparing to spin off its shipbuilding business next month, putting 4,000 skilled workers at the Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana out of work. The layoffs would devastate the Gulf region’s economy and the communities dependent on the shipbuilding industry.

At a New Orleans press conference today, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) released a joint letter he sent along with  Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. In the letter, the lawmakers said:

The long-term economic impact of the loss of these jobs goes far beyond the immediate impact on these workers’ families. It will undoubtedly extend deep into the Gulf Coast communities that have yet to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the recent economic downturn and last year’s BP oil spill.

They called on Solis for an expedited assessment of the economic impact of the closing that would measure the total loss of income for the Avondale workers, the availability of jobs requiring similar skills and the cost to retrain workers unable to find jobs that require similar skills.

Merland Farria, president of the Avondale Metal Trades Council, told reporters:

It is encouraging that [Richmond and Landrieu] are demanding answers and getting the federal government involved in trying to save these jobs.

Layoffs began in October 2010, but workers have vowed to continue fighting to save the shipyard so they and thousands of other workers can support their families.

Press Advisory Avondale Discussion Open to the Press

Who: Ron Ault, President of the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO & Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA)

What: Meeting open to the press for a discussion of the future of the Avondale Shipyard

Where: Point Coupee Room, Lowe’s New Orleans Hotel—300 Poydras, New Orleans

When: 11:15 a.m., Friday, Jan. 28

Contacts: Greg Kenefick, Metal Trades Dept. Cell: (410) 274-8604

Raena Davis of Mr. Richmond’s office: (781) 475-2165

Or Amaya Tune at the AFL-CIO in Washington (202) 637-5142

Open to the press

Northrop Grumman is preparing to spin off its shipbuilding business and the leadership of the new entity appears intent on closing down Avondale in New Orleans and possibly Ingalls in Pascagoula. If those plans are carried out, the Gulf region’s economy and the communities dependent on the shipbuilding industry will be devastated. The loss of competitive shipbuilding capacity will have a negative effect on the defense industrial base nationwide and national security. Rep. Richmond is expected to present a joint letter he has signed with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to outline steps they are taking to quantify the economic impact of these shutdowns and once more urge the leadership of Northrop Grumman & the new shipbuilding entity to reconsider their plans.

The Republican Study Committee's Wish List for Cut in Spending

Below is the Republican Study Committee’s wish list for cuts in the “Spending Reduction Act of 2011”. Among the proposed cuts is the repeal of Davis-Bacon.

Spending Reduction Act of 2011

January 2011


The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 reduces federal spending by $2.5 trillion over ten years.  The bill will specifically hold FY 2011 non-security discretionary spending to FY 08 levels, hold non-defense discretionary spending to FY 06 levels thereafter for the rest of the ten-year budget window (the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress), and include more than 100 other program eliminations or savings proposals, consisting of proposals from the RSC Sunset Caucus, YouCut, or the RSC budget.  To cosponsor or for more information, contact



  • FY 2011 CR Amendment:  Replace the spending levels in the FY 2011 continuing resolution (CR) with non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veterans spending at FY 2008 levels.  The legislation will further prohibit any FY 2011 funding from being used to carry out any provision of the Democrat government takeover of health care, or to defend the health care law against any lawsuit challenging any provision of the act.  $80 billion savings.
  • Discretionary Spending Limit, FY 2012-2021:  Eliminate automatic increases for inflation from CBO baseline projections for future discretionary appropriations.  Further, impose discretionary spending limits through 2021 at 2006 levels on the non-defense portion of the discretionary budget.  $2.29 trillion savings over ten years.
  • Federal Workforce Reforms:  Eliminate automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers for five yearsAdditionally, cut the civilian workforce by a total of 15 percent through attrition.  Allow the hiring of only one new worker for every two workers who leave federal employment until the reduction target has been met. (Savings included in above discretionary savings figure).
  •   “Stimulus” Repeal:  Eliminate all remaining “stimulus” funding.  $45 billion total savings. 
  • More than 100 additional spending reduction proposals listed below:   $376 billion savings over ten years.


Additional Program Eliminations/Spending Reforms

  • Eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  $30 billion total savings. 
  • Repeal the Medicaid FMAP increase in the “State Bailout” (Senate amendments to S. 1586).  $16.1 billion total savings. 
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy.  $445 million annual savings. 
  • Save America’s Treasures Program.  $25 million annual savings.
  •  International Fund for Ireland.  $17 million annual savings. 
  •  Legal Services Corporation.  $420 million annual savings. 
  • National Endowment for the Arts.  $167.5 million annual savings.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities.  $167.5 million annual savings.
  • Hope VI Program.  $250 million annual savings.
  • Amtrak Subsidies.  $1.565 billion annual savings.
  • Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274, authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
  • U.S. Trade Development Agency.  $55 million annual savings. 
  • Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy.  $20 million annual savings.
  • Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding.  $47 million annual savings.
  • John C. Stennis Center Subsidy.  $430,000 annual savings.
  • Community Development Fund.  $4.5 billion annual savings.
  • Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid.  $24 million annual savings.
  • Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half.  $7.5 billion annual savings.
  • Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%.  $600 million annual savings.
  • Essential Air Service.  $150 million annual savings.
  • Technology Innovation Program.  $70 million annual savings.
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program.  $125 million annual savings.
  • Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization.  $530 million annual savings.
  • Beach Replenishment.  $95 million annual savings.
  •  New Starts Transit.  $2 billion annual savings.
  • Exchange Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts.  $9 million annual savings.
  • Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants.  $2.5 billion annual savings.
  • Title X Family Planning.  $318 million annual savings.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission.  $76 million annual savings.
  • Economic Development Administration.  $293 million annual savings.
  • Programs under the National and Community Services Act.  $1.15 billion annual savings.
  • Applied Research at Department of Energy.  $1.27 billion annual savings.
  • FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership.  $200 million annual savings.
  • Energy Star Program.  $52 million annual savings.
  • Economic Assistance to Egypt.    $250 million annually.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development.  $1.39 billion annual savings. 
  • General Assistance to District of Columbia.  $210 million annual savings.
  • Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.  $150 million annual savings.
  • Presidential Campaign Fund.  $775 million savings over ten years.
  • No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.
  • End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
  • Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act.
  • IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget.  $1.8 billion savings over ten years. 
  • Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees.  $1 billion total savings.
  • Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees.  $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
  • Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of.  $15 billion total savings.
  • Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
  • Eliminate Mohair Subsidies.  $1 million annual savings
  • Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  $12.5 million annual savings. 
  • Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings. 
  • USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings. 
  • Subsidy to Organization for OECD.  $90 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program.  $56.2 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs.  $1 billion savings. 
  • Ready to Learn TV Program.  $27 million savings. 
  • HUD Ph.D. Program.
  • Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
  • Department of Defense Senior Mentor Program.


TOTAL SAVINGS:    $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

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