Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) today called for bipartisan cooperation to avert sequestration and released a new report that details how the across-the-board cuts would impact Oregon. According to the report entitled "Sequestration by the Numbers - A Snapshot for Oregon," the state would suffer nearly 12,000 job losses, and lose substantial federal funding for an array of essential programs.
"The automatic, across-the-board cuts initiated by the Budget Control Act will have harmful impacts throughout Oregon," writes Bonamici. "Students will be forced to leave their Head Start classrooms, some seniors won't receive their Meals on Wheels, and civilians employed by the Department of Defense will be furloughed. Federally funded research at our universities will be slashed, and students struggling to pay for college will receive less aid. Mothers who rely on the WIC program will struggle to feed their newborn children, and families that count on the food assistance program SNAP will receive less help."
The sequestrations cuts were initiated prior to Bonamici's service in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Budget Control Act, which passed in the summer of 2011, was designed to enact automatic across the board cuts in the event that congressional negotiators could not arrive at a deal to reduce the country's long-term deficit. When those negotiations failed, the cuts were sent in motion. Bonamici, who was elected in January 2012, has been calling for bipartisan cooperation to avert sequestration ever since.
"I didn't vote for these cuts, and I am working diligently to stop them from taking effect," said Bonamici. "Unfortunately, partisanship and congressional gridlock have once again brought us to a crisis point. I hope that we can stop sequestration, but more broadly, I hope we can get back to working together in the U.S. Congress, because governing by crisis has devastating consequences for our economy."
The snapshot compiles data from a range of sources and demonstrates broad consequences for Oregon if sequestration moves forward, including that:
11,971 Oregon jobs will be lost through sequestration;
16,320 fewer job seekers will receive workforce training;
140 Oregon teachers could lose their jobs;
600 Oregon children will lose access to school readiness programs;
7,600 fewer Oregon families would be assisted by WIC; and,
3,000 Oregon Department of Defense civilian employees will be furloughed.