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Local Politicians Weigh in on Sequestration

Toomey and Schwartz may not see eye-to-eye on looming sequester cuts.

Over the course of the week, Patch has outlined just a handful of the many departments in Montgomery County that may be impacted should sequester go into action. If Congress does nothing to change it, the automatic budget cuts will begin officially Thursday at midnight.

With just a few more hours on the clock, a compromise is not likely. Pennsylvania politicians sure have their doubts.

"I'm not sure the federal government has demonstrated it's qualified to teach financial literacy," said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey during a conference call Wednesday.

After the White House report was released, showing the impacts to Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz said she blames Republicans in Congress for not cooperating.

“The report confirms what we knew all along,” Schwartz said. “If Republicans continue to reject a balanced approach to deficit reduction, which includes spending cuts, new revenue, and economic growth to protect our nation’s economic recovery, we will not create the right environment for long-term growth by investing in our domestic priorities.” 

She worries change may not come quickly enough.

“Republicans must reject their partisan, one-sided approach and be willing to find common ground solutions to deficit reduction,” Schwartz said.  “To ensure America's future prosperity and growth, we must restore confidence in our capacity to reach agreement, strengthen the middle class and create an environment in which the private sector can thrive.  We have not yet seen the Republican leadership in the House be willing to engage in that kind of serious deficit reduction conversation that takes a balanced approach, respects our obligation to Americans and creates certainty for our families and businesses.”

What impact does it have on Pennsylvania residents? According to a release from Schwartz, there a lot of ways citizens will notice the change.

“Young children will be hurt by these cuts,” said Sharon Easterling, Executive Director, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children.  “In Pennsylvania, the statewide waiting list for child care subsidy will grow from 6,500 to over 11,000 children and at least 2,300 Head Start children would lose service almost immediately.  This is bad for children and families, and undercuts our efforts to close the achievement gap for at-risk children.”

The local economy may suffer, with continued job losses.

“Sequestration will affect 2,000 Department of the Navy civilian jobs at three Navy commands located at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center. This will greatly affect the technical support these positions provide to the U.S. Navy around the world,” said John Garrity, President of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 3.

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 Post Gazette.

He said the 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 said to 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."

For the full report on Toomey’s response to sequestration, visit this Patch article.

andthatsthetruth March 01, 2013 at 03:13 AM
This all boils down to the man running this state. Corbett was not thinking what the overall results on Federal Level would be. Poor planning. Or WAS HE? Any Federal funds for specific programs are tied up in litigation based on the Welfare Program. Welfare denials are playing a big part . The government has offered funds to help the people out & most funds are not going any where. Any Federal applications are being scrutinized for eligibility & are being denied thus placing the federal funds back into Corbett's pocket. These bogus requirements & accusations are multiplying. All Pa Commonwealth low income are suffering and it is a catch 22. The welfare offices are making up excuses and not looking at previous information in their on line system to see how these problems have been handled in the past for the applicant. All LIHEAP claims have a closing date in March 2013. This is evil.
Curmudgeon March 01, 2013 at 11:12 AM
WTF are you talking about. Is Corbett keeping the $$, putting in his offshore account in the Caymans?? Does anyone question as to why the Fed's take our tax $$, reduce by the cost of the bureacrats, and then send it back to us with all sorts of regulations and mandates. That should be what you're questioning. In 4 years, when Obama is gone, the sh** will hit the fan on Obamacare, and the exchange that Corbett is letting them run, will look like a good move. Is anyone talking about the cuts that just occurred with Medicare, $700 Billion dollars transfered from Medicare Advantage over the next 10 years to Obamacare, starting this pas Feb. 15. Now that's criminal!!!
andthatsthetruth March 01, 2013 at 01:15 PM
I am talking about every government office keeping $$ in their own pocket to make up the deficit. As a Sr. Citizen that has only Medicare Part A and no secondary insurance, in order to do the preventive medical testing, hospitals are now requiring a pre-pay in co-pay patient fees ( just in case they get admitted) for an out patient procedure $1,800 then return it if it doesn't happen. Colonoscopies, MRI, mammograms etc. Who has that kind of money to let the hospitals hold it ? I have mentioned 2 scenarios that I have heard about in the last 2 weeks. The h***l with what is going to happen, it IS HAPPENING NOW. It's everywhere. The supermarkets, gas stations,utilities, the battle of Fios or Xfinity monopoly, & there are others. We keep paying , getting less salary, Congress needs to have their paychecks held until they start doing what they are suppose to do one way or the other, they have too much power. Not resolving situations & going home is unacceptable. We all sit in limbo waiting for them to decide our future is getting to the point of being inhumane. We all saw how it played out with the unemployment bill. That took weeks to resolve. Say what you want, all the skeptics do, it's not the future we need to be concerned about, it is right now. Our everyday life has been placed on hold till this passes again.
Woman for the Future of Our Children March 01, 2013 at 01:43 PM
By the way Allyson, sequestration was Obama's idea, one he pushed through congress and he signed into law so please stop blaming the Republicans. If the current administration would learn to control their spending the Republican's would not need to dig their feet into the sand. They are standing strong to protect our Country and children from bankrupsy. Stop your blame game and "chicken little" scare tactics. Own it....
Tim Lewis March 01, 2013 at 02:44 PM
This is what I hear: "Yada, Yada Whine Whine Yad."
Roman Gabriel March 01, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Allyson Schwartz is a two faced lying pig whose only concern is herself. This P-O-S should retire. A career Phila politician gets a vote on whats best for Montgomery County. Can the voters be that stupid ? Hey Allyson, what have you ever done for Montgomery county ?
Jack Minster March 01, 2013 at 03:09 PM
On Feb 19, the president advanced an argument Republicans have been making for a year: his sequester is the wrong way to cut spending. That’s why the House has twice passed legislation to replace it with common sense cuts and reforms that won’t threaten public safety, national security, or our economy. But once again, the president offered no credible plan that can pass Congress – only more calls for higher taxes. In January, the president got his higher taxes on the wealthy, and he’s already back for more. The American people understand that the revenue debate is now closed. We should close loopholes and carve-outs in the tax code, but that revenue should be used to lower rates across the board. Tax reform is a once-in-a generation opportunity to boost job creation in America. It must not be squandered to enable more Washington spending. Spending is the problem, spending must be the focus. This is very basic and simple. Magic does not exist. Just business. Washington Democrats’ new found concern about the president’s sequester is appreciated, but words alone won’t avert it. Replacing the president’s sequester will require a plan to cut spending that will put us on the path to a budget that is balanced in 10 years. Smart. fiscally responsible voters ask only one question: what other spending is the president willing to cut? If you're spending more than you take in, what do YOU do? If you're in a hole over your head, do you keep digging?
Mike Shortall Sr March 01, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Well stated! I would just LOVE for Allyson Schwartz to list for us all the Spending Cuts proposed by Democrats in Congress or The White House in what she describes as that "willingness to find common ground solutions to deficit reduction"!!! The quick answer: There weren't any! So please save your attempts to blame Republicans for this situation! The President's White House proposed and accepted sequestration as a method to FORCE a balanced approach ... Added revenue, which was won by Obama and the Dems in the January fiscal cliff "crisis" and - supposedly - Spending cuts, which so far are NOWHERE to be seen on the Democrat side. Do your job, Allyson!! Keep your word - as they are self-servingly portrayed above - and come up with a REAL balanced approach!
Anti-statist March 01, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I've had to cut my household budget by over 10%. And I didn't cut my essential services. Minimized eating-out and entertainment budgets. Hadn't had a vacation in 4 years. Have 2 13 yo cars. Has Allyson cut her office budget? Let get rid of the Education Dept and give 50% of their prior budget to the states as block grants. That would be a start.
andthatsthetruth March 01, 2013 at 09:34 PM
I Had to go to the VA Office & when I got there the response was " Oh this is the State VA office, for that service, you have to go to the Federal VA office. I didn't know there were 2 offices in blocks of each other wearing 2 separate set of duties? Neither office was busy, the employees were engrossed in conversation, I never heard a phone ring. If that isn't a waste. One office, one rent, single active staff, electric etc. That would have been a no brainer to consolidate the offices. This is the over expenditure of the government. I am sure that there is alot more offices & services that could do the same. The state government is renting whole buildings & only using portions for different depts. I don't see what the point is. I bet within a few days on Patch we could cut the budgets and free up a lot of money without effecting us, don't you? The politicians are living high on the hog just to utilize the funds so not to loose them for next year.... just in case. And don't worry Goldwater most of us are in the same boat for not taking vacations or other luxuries mentioned. You are not alone.
Glenn March 02, 2013 at 09:16 AM
The whole thing boils down to the Republican sore loosers. They have no business being in Congress in the 1st place. They are there through gerimandering only. Caring about normal people is not their priority because their priorities center upon the rich and famous. They are the party of "NO" . No empathy, no grouth, no education.
Glenn March 02, 2013 at 09:21 AM
170 looser repuliccans voted for it
Curmudgeon March 02, 2013 at 09:38 AM
@Glenn: Did you skip English class in school. Slow down and try to spell correctly. loosers/losers: grouth/growth: gerimandering/gerrymandering I care that your education sucked. Yoo xpress yur feelings, but site no xampls. Pleeze be mor speciphic.
Glenn March 02, 2013 at 10:05 AM
And 1 more thing you lost !
andthatsthetruth March 02, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Who told you that you could curse on line? BTW, you spelled that right. These articles are being used in schools to debate the issues and responses. Did you know that? That little rant needs to be taken back on the xBOX & leave the normal people alone ~ Oh thats right, xBox sensors you there also. Might you have a red ring/ the box was banned? Ran out of things to do? Chill out.
Glenn March 02, 2013 at 06:59 PM
It is not profanity. Kids in school say things much worse every day.
Glenn March 02, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Memorandum: Romnesia and the Republican liars have been crushed. This is what they get for aligning themselves with bafoons like Donald Duck Trump, Rush Limbaugh etc. and having Taliban ideas about Women. This election is a triumph of empathy over evil !
Alyson D'Alessandro (Editor) March 02, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Comments have been deleted because they violate the Patch Terms of Service. Profanity and comments threatening and defaming other users are not allowed. You can argue all you want about the subject of the article, but comments such as those will be deleted.

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