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Governors press White House, Congress to avoid sequester cuts

The governors of Maryland and Virginia urged Washington policymakers on Sunday to come together to avoid sequestration.

Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a Republican, and Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, a Democrat, said the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts would roll back economic gains the two states have made in recent years.

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Because of their proximity to Washington, both states have thousands of residents who work for the federal government. 

McDonnell also noted that Virginia has many defense installations, just days before President Obama is set to visit one to talk up the negative effects of sequestration.

“We sit in the middle of a corridor of science and security,” O’Malley said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“For whatever our differences might be,” O’Malley added, we understand that this is an economic threat. This is going to hurt a lot of moms and dads in our region.”

O’Malley said the governors would continue to press their congressional delegations on the issue.

But neither governor seemed willing to weigh in on what specifically Congress should do to avoid sequestration. 

McDonnell, who just helped push through a transportation plan in Virginia that raised new revenues, said federal policymakers needed to take a look at entitlement programs to eventually get the books in order.

But on the sequester, McDonnell said: “The solution is up to Congress. I’m just saying, don’t put all the burden on the states and the military. You guys figure out how to get it done.”