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Sequester Would Mean More Than $91.6M in MA Cuts

A White House report provides examples of where federal aid would be eliminated.

Massachusetts would see more than $91 million in federal funds cut from a myriad of programs if Congress fails to act this week to avoid the sequester, the Obama Administration said Sunday.

In a move designed to pressure Republicans into accepting new taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal to prevent the sequester from taking effect on Friday, the White House released reports that outlined how those cuts would impact individual states, The Huffington Post reported.

Here are some examples of what's on the chopping block for us here in Massachusetts, according to the report:

  • Military: Some 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing pay by around $43.4 million. Army base operation funding in the state would be cut by about $8 million, Air Force operations by about $5 million.
  • Teachers and Schools: Some $13.9 million in primary and secondary education funding would be cut, putting around 190 teacher and aide jobs at risk; about 20,000 fewer students would be served and some 60 fewer schools would get funding, according to the administration. Also, Massachusetts would lose some $13.4 million to pay for about 160 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: About $4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, and to prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. The Bay State could also lose another $472,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
  • Public Health: About $625,000 in funds to respond to infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological event threats. Also, $1.7 million for preventing and treating substance abuse, resulting in around 5,200 fewer admissions to programs. And about $367,000 in cuts would mean 9,200 fewer HIV tests.
  • Job Search Help: About $787,000 in funding, meaning 27,000 fewer people would get help finding work, according to the administration.
  • Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: About $535,000 for senior meal programs would be cut.
  • Vaccines for Children: Almost 3,000 fewer children would get measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B vaccinations to save about $201,000.
  • STOP Violence Against Women Program: Up to $140,000 would be cut in services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.
  • Child Care: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job. There was no estimate of funding cut size.
  • Head Start: Services would be eliminated for about 1,100 Massachusetts children. There was no estimate of funding cut size.

After the reports were released, Congressional Republicans criticized the Obama administration for the PR move, The Huffington Post reported.

“Rather than issuing last-minute press releases on cuts to first responders or troop training or airport security, he should propose smarter ways to cut Washington spending. After all, Washington spending, even with the sequester, is bigger than it was when he got here,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning disagreed with Republicans who blame the president for failing to lead.

Patrick said on the show: "This notion about not having leadership, this is about leadership. And, the President has shown that a balanced approach, which is about cuts and closing loopholes that enables us to invest in things and grow jobs, is more important and appropriate for us at this time."

Unless Congress intervenes, the law requires the Obama Administration to impose $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts to military and domestic programs on Friday, according to The New York Times. Those cuts would be the start of $1 trillion in cuts over the coming decade.

Fox News quotes reports that Republicans are working on a bill this week that would grant the White House more leeway to target the cuts in a more responsible, less meat-cleaver-type way. 

just thinking February 25, 2013 at 09:51 PM
the democrats lug out the tear-jerking things that really don't have to be cut,but who wants to hear about wasteful spending,raising taxes to pay for the do-nothing jobs in government.how many jobs would be saved if the obama's stop going on these outragest vacations.obama is always flying around the country,trying to con the mentally challenged to go along with his raising taxes.IF WE DON'T STOP HIM NOW,MILLIONS WILL BE OUT OF A JOB, VERY SHORTLY
just thinking February 25, 2013 at 10:06 PM
these cuts in our state could just be the ( do nothing ) jobs deval.patrick made up 2000 in his first election,remember he is an expert in getting his paybacks,like the millions he walked away with from the bancrupt americo co. ,the $i,325,000 he got for writing a book that sold for $20 and only sold 6000 do the math.another democrat laughing at you all the way to the banks.what about ed markey,what schools did his kids go to malden catholic or malden high.did they commute from maryland,you just can't get a democrat to listen to the truth.they just bend over
Tom Melanson February 26, 2013 at 04:03 PM
You people put him in office now you are stuck with him. You have not learned that he does not like America. What he wants he will get through exec.privilege. He started this mess To put the country into depression. Him and his are living a reality show. Look at who gave out an award on tv. He is the first black/white pres. and loving the power. He is not doing the work for his employers the american people. He is working to make a one party government that is a lib.,progressive, dictatorship. Please look at his record and give one thing he has done to unite this country.
Velvet Jones February 26, 2013 at 07:40 PM
You nuts exemplify the new GOP, angry, bitter in a resentment vacuum. It's all based on blame and hate and bitterness. The stock market is at an all time high , when it sank it was ALL O'Bama's fault now it's at a near record high ? Crickets, high gas prices ALL O'Bama's fault, when they sink, crickets . Chris Christie has been uninvited from the next C-PAC meeting, his crime...working WITH O'Bama !! So keep crying, and hating, and blaming minorities, UNIONS, gays, liberals, ''elites'', Ivy Leaguers, poor people, the ACLU, dog owners, everybody except the GOP of course, who controls Congress and has done NOTHING, well except for crushing UNIONS, closing Planned Parenthood. The Virginia GOP wants to make it illegal for unmarried couples to live together and Eric Cantor just introduced a bill to eliminate OT pay for hourly workers ?? And you wonder why you can't win an election.
Velvet Jones February 26, 2013 at 07:44 PM
The GOP rails against, ''East Coast elites'', ''Ivy League elites'', ''Taxachusettes'', ''Chicago style politics'', ''San Francisco values'', and calls shittkickerville USA ''the real America''.......but O'Bama is dividing America? OK

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