As California faces another budget crisis when sequestration is expected to go into effect, local Democrat government representatives are urging House Republicans to take action in creating a balanced plan that would avert massive cuts.
Rep. Judy Chu of the 27th District said California will suffer drastic cuts, including services for children, seniors, small businesses, and military men and women.
“There is no other way to describe sequestration than a self inflicted wound to our economy, our credibility, and the American people,” said Chu in a written statement. “These cuts will take food from the mouths of hungry children and first responders off our streets. No corner of the country will be untouched by their impact, and this report shows that is particularly true for California.”
Chu called on Republicans to “do the right thing and join Democrats in seeking a responsible way to address our debt.”
But that might be a hard sell for tax-weary Republicans. Republicans, including House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Republican Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky don’t appear to give in to tax increases before the March 1 deadline, according to the Washington Post.
Republicans believe Democrats are doing their best to create public anxiety over sequestration cuts to pressure Republicans into bending from their no-tax stance.
McConnell told the Washington Post:
“With a $16.6 trillion national debt, and a promise to the American people to address it, one thing is perfectly clear: We will cut Washington spending. We can either secure those reductions more intelligently, or we can do it the president’s way with across-the board cuts. But one thing Americans simply will not accept is another tax increase to replace spending reductions we already agreed to.”
Some of the highlighted cuts in the Democratic campaign include:
- 87.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, which could layoff up to 1,210 teacher aide jobs. Head Start and Early Head Start programs could also be at risk.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection would have to layoff more than 7,000 officers and agents. The Department of Justice would also be forced lay off approximately 1,000 federal agents and 1,300 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers.
- $12.4 million in environmental funding for clean water and air quality and $2.6 million in funds to cover responses to natural disasters, infectious diseases and chemical, biological and nuclear events. Another $12.4 million can be cut to substance abuse programs.
- Cuts to nutritional assistance for seniors, and medical research grants for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
- Around 9,600 fewer low income students in California would receive college financial aid and around 3,690 fewer students will get work-study jobs
- $1.6 million cut to public safety and law enforcement funds.
Still, Democrats believe sequestration will only put more burden on the low income and middle class while the rich enjoy more tax breaks.
“Hardworking people from my district have lost their jobs, and we need to ensure critical services that support them and their families will not be cut. We must reduce spending, but forcing the middle class to bear the burden is not the solution,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano of the 32nd District. “Ending tax breaks for millionaires and corporations will ensure that they also pay their fair share.”
Rep. Judy Chu represents the 27th Congressional District, including Glendora, Arcadia, Claremont, Monrovia, Pasadena, South Pasadena, and unincorporated Altadena. Rep. Grace Napolitano represents the 32nd Congressional District, including Glendora, Monrovia, Baldwin Park, Azusa, La Verne and San Dimas.