Nine of Virginia's 13 members of Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday expressing their unified support of averting the arbitrary sequestration cuts from going into effect.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) and U.S. Reps. Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-Newport News, Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, J. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake, Frank Wolf, R-Vienna, Jim Moran, D-Arlington, and Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, urged the president and Congressional leaders to find a compromise to avert the cuts that are expected to hit Virginia especially hard.

"We stand ready to work hand-in-hand to negotiate an agreement to avert these cuts that threaten grave consequences for the commonwealth, our federal government, and our national security," they wrote.

They pointed out that studies show the $1.2 trillion in cuts -  roughly half of which are cuts to defense spending - could cost Virginia more than 200,000 jobs and a $20.8 billion loss to the gross state product.

"As a bipartisan delegation of Virginia lawmakers representing wide-ranging interests and viewpoints, we write to show unified support for immediate action to avert the devastating impacts of sequestration," they wrote. ' The Commonwealth of Virginia, with its long history of contribution to our national defense and to the federal government, will bear a disproportionate amount of the pain imposed by these arbitrary cuts should they come to pass."

Here is a copy of the full letter:

February 15, 2013

 

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker

United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Harry Reid