Congressman John Tierney today joined local residents at a rally in Boston to call on House Republicans to take swift action on a balanced plan to stop the automatic spending cuts that threaten our economy as well as a range of vital services for children, seniors, small businesses, and our men and women in uniform. Tierney and others at the event highlighted the impact these cutes would have on residents in Massachusetts and others across the country.
"While we can all agree that we need to cut the deficit in a balanced and responsible manner, these automatic cuts are not the answer. The cuts that House Republicans seem intent on allowing to happen will unfairly impact middle-class families and those already struggling to make ends meet," Congressman Tierney said.
"As I said this morning, there is a more balanced approach we should take. To date, Senate and House Democrats have offered fair, balanced plans to avert these damaging cuts. These proposals are built on responsible spending cuts, increased revenues, and growth with jobs. Yet Republicans have refused to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes, and instead continue to place the burden of our economic recovery squarely on the backs of our middle-class families," Tierney concluded.
Late yesterday, a new Obama Administration report detailed the harm that automatic spending cuts would cause in Massachusetts.
* Teachers and Schools: Massachusetts would lose approximately $13.9 million for primary and secondary education, putting around 190 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 20,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 60 fewer schools would receive funding.
* Education for Children with Disabilities: Massachusetts would lose approximately $13.4 million for about 160 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
* College Aid and Work-Study Jobs: Around 580 fewer low income students in Massachusetts would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 800 fewer students would get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
* Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,100 children in our state, reducing access to critical early education.
* Military Readiness: In Massachusetts, approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $43.4 million in total.
* Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds: Massachusetts would lose about $300,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
* Job Search Assistance: Around 26,970 fewer Massachusetts residents would get the help and skills they need to find employment as we would lose about $787,000 for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning.
* Child Care: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children would lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
* Vaccines for Children: Around 2,940 fewer children would receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations.
* Violence Against Women Grants: Massachusetts would lose up to $140,000 to provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.
* Nutrition for Seniors: Massachusetts would lose approximately $535,000 to help provide meals for seniors.
Unless Congress acts by March 1, a series of automatic cuts--called the sequester--will take effect.