Pennsylvanians Demand Action on Sequester Cuts

Press Release

By:  Allyson Schwartz
Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz called for a responsible, balanced approach to replace sequestration in response to the release of a White House report on the impact of the automatic budget cuts on Pennsylvania.

The Obama Administration recently released a state-by-state report on the impact of sequestration, a series of devastating, automatic cuts to federal programs that will take effect without action by Congress. The report specifies the harmful impact these cuts would have on Pennsylvania's middle class families, jobs and economic growth.

"The report confirms what we knew all along," Rep. 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."

"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."

These automatic cuts would put the Commonwealth's seniors at risk, as Pennsylvania would lose approximately $849,000 in funds providing meals for seniors, in addition to funding for other services according to the White House Report. "These cuts may force the Philadelphia Corporation on Aging to limit some vital transportation services for our seniors, who depend on shared rides to remain independent in their homes," said Holly Lange, President of the Philadelphia Corporation on Aging.

Thousands of Pennsylvania jobs in both the public and private sectors are at risk of elimination due to the inaction of House Republicans, from elementary school teachers to scientific researchers.

"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 US Navy around the world," said John Garrity, President of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 3.

"Every park in the system would be affected, including treasured places like Gettysburg, Independence Hall and Valley Forge, and the local economies that depend on visitor spending would also suffer," said Cinda Waldbuesser, senior Pennsylvania program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. "National parks are economic drivers for local communities. Over the last two years, Pennsylvania's national parks have welcomed more than 8 million visitors, generating $325,000,000 in economic benefits."

House and Senate Democrats put forth a balanced solution that would replace the across the board cuts with a balanced plan that cuts spending and raises revenue, while Republicans have yet to offer a balanced plan.

"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."