Today, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced crucial legislation to halt sequestration, the process laid out in the Budget Control Act of 2011 to cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending on defense and domestic programs over 10 years. The Save America's National Economy Act, aka the SANE Act, would save 2.6 million jobs estimated to be lost because of these cuts in the first three years alone, while safeguarding vital funds for housing, education, and health care for millions of Americans. By stopping the reckless 8% across-the-board cuts slated to begin on January 1, 2013, the SANE Act would return much-needed sanity to our budgeting process so that we can continue the economic recovery without sacrificing the middle class, kids, seniors, and the most vulnerable members of our communities. Nearly 3,000 national and local organizations in all 50 states joined together to state their strong opposition to sequestration.
"Sequestration would have a devastating impact on American families and workers. This bill says enough is enough," said Rep. Schakowsky. "The fact is, the sole reason we face sequestration is because House Republicans refuse - time after time - to ask a single dime more from the richest 2 percent of Americans. Instead, Republicans are asking the middle class, low-income families, and seniors to bear the burden of deficit reduction. It's time for sane budget policies; it's time to pass the SANE Act."
"This legislation is intended to prevent the catastrophic results of sequestration," said Rep. Nadler. "The simple truth is that no one -- not the president and not the Congress -- ever wanted or expected sequestration to take effect. Why? Because we have a jobs problem, and the spending cuts demanded by mandatory sequestration are a huge jobs killer and a major blow to our economy. It is imperative that we stop the misguided and self-made disaster that sequestration, or equivalent spending cuts, will bring."
In 2013 alone, sequestration would require that defense and discretionary domestic programs each incur an across-the-board $54.7 billion cut. The following are just a handful of the effects should sequestration occur:
According to the Economic Policy Institute, these cuts would result in the loss of 1.3 million defense jobs and 1.3 million non-defense jobs in just the first three years, with a total job loss of 2.6 million American jobs the first three years.
According to a joint report issued this month by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and American Nurses Association, sequestration's 2% cut for Medicare would result in 496,000 health-related jobs lost in just the first year, and 766,000 jobs lost by 2021 -- 49,121 of which would be in New York and 30,265 in Illinois.
According to the Healthcare Association of New York State, sequestration would subject hospitals nationwide to $40 billion in Medicare reductions, with more than $2 billion of that loss hitting New York's health care system.
According to a recent report from the Office of Management and Budget, sequestration would cut some $329 million from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides health care and compensation to first responders and survivors sickened after 9/11, and of which Rep. Nadler is a lead sponsor.
According to the AIDS Institute, sequestration would cut $538 million from domestic HIV/AIDS programs, imperiling thousands who depend upon services for their stability and survival.
According to Federally Employed Women, sequestration would mean the loss of jobs for 25,000 teachers and aides, responsible for hundreds of thousands of children. In addition, 100,000 school children would lose places in Head Start.
The SANE Act will cut the deficit through enhanced taxation of millionaires and reduced expenditures from the war in Afghanistan.