Moon Area Congressmen Weigh in on Sequestration
Reps. Rothfus, Murphy and others discuss the effects of across-the-board cuts.
Several departments in Allegheny County may be impacted by the sequester if the automatic budget cuts begin officially at midnight, according to members of the state's congressional delegation.
"We need to control spending so that we do not run out of money for critical items such as seniors’ and veterans’ health care, infrastructure projects, and a robust military capable of deterring aggressors. This is not the way to do it," said Rothfus, R-Sewickley, prior to the sequester.
Instead of the arbitrary, across-the-board cuts, which will impact selected domestic and military programs, Rothfus said President Obama and the Senate should work with the House to take a scalpel to spending.
But as the clock ran out without a compromise, Pennsylvania politicians said they had their doubts about reaching a solution.
"I'm not sure the federal government has demonstrated it's qualified to teach financial literacy," said U.S. Senator Pat Toomey during a conference call Wednesday.
The White House released a report showing the impacts to Pennsylvania.
Quaker Valley School District predicts a 5.1 percent reduction, of $27,632, in its federal funding due to sequestration cuts
What impact will it have on day-to-day lives of Pennsylvania residents?
According to a release from U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, there are a lot of ways citizens will notice the change. Local economiesmay suffer, too, with continued job losses.
According to Politico.com, “many Republicans now support the sequester cuts as a way for the government to tighten its belt, barring any better budget-reduction plan.”
Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, has co-sponsored a bill to “soften the blow of sequester,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
He said a proposed bill he is sponsoring will help give decision-making power back to the administrators that deserve it.
“"[Sequester] gives no discretion to the managers of the agencies or the administration—or anyone, for that matter—to decide which of these programs has greater importance, greater urgency than another," Toomey told the Post-Gazette.
"There are any number of contrasts and comparisons you could make, but—in my view—a government subsidy to Solyndra wouldn't be as high a priority as maintaining air-traffic controllers."
Rothfus said replacing the sequester requires finding $84 billion in smart cuts to the budget. Read Rothfus's entire op-ed article here.
For the full report on Toomey’s response to sequestration, visit this Patch article.