Rep. Schiff urges agreement on a bipartisan, balanced plan to avert sequestration cuts

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) called on the Speaker to help avert the dangerous across-the-board cuts that would result from sequestration, scheduled to kick in on March 1st. On Sunday night, the White House released a report laying out the direct cuts that would affect Californians. Schiff believes that Congress must take swift action on a balanced plan to stop these automatic spending cuts that would threaten our economy as well as a range of vital services for children, seniors, small businesses, and our men and women in uniform.
“We must do everything we can to reach a long-term deal to avert the sequester, to grow jobs and the economy, and to address our debt problems,” said Rep. Schiff. “If sequestration goes into effect later this week, it’s going to be a disaster for the country, resulting in the loss of many thousands jobs in Los Angeles and around the nation. We need to find a permanent fix to these fiscal issues, and it just shouldn’t be that hard if both parties would come to the table open to a balanced agreement that has a combination of responsible spending cuts, increased revenues, and job growth.
“Our economy is poised to finally recover if the Congress would get out of the way. I urge the Speaker to permit a balanced plan to come to the floor. Finding common ground to avert the sequester is not rocket science, and it needs to get done.”
California would face a series of cuts to education, environmental protections, military readiness, public safety, public health and programs benefitting seniors.
Education Funding: California will lose approximately $87.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 1,210 teacher and aide jobs at risk, and 187,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 320 fewer schools would receive funding. Additionally, Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 8,200 children in California, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: California would lose about $12.4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.
Military Readiness: In California, approximately 64,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $399.4 million in total.
Public Health: California will lose approximately $2.6 million in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, California will lose about $12.4 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 9,400 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the California State Department of Health Services will lose about $2 million resulting in around 49,300 fewer HIV tests.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: California would lose approximately $5.4 million in funds that provide meals for needy seniors across the state.
Additionally, vital programs nationwide will see massive cuts that will also directly impact Californians:
Public Safety: Under sequestration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would also have to lay off more than 7,000 officers and agents, increasing wait times at our nation’s busiest airports. The Department of Justice would also be forced lay off approximately 1,000 federal agents and 1,300 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers.
Health Care: More than $1.6 billion would be cut from medical research grants through the National Institutes for Health, meaning fewer and smaller research projects aimed at finding treatments and cures for diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Community health centers would serve 900,000 fewer patients as a result of cuts of $120 million, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would provide 540,000 fewer doses of vaccines against diseases like hepatitis, flu, measles, and whooping cough for children and adults.
-Photo by Terry Miller

February 27, 2013

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