Mr. MAFFEI. Mr. Speaker, I stood here a few days before the sequester deadline and urged this House to take action. The sequester is a set of random, arbitrary, temporary cuts that put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and harm our national security readiness and our economy. Some have yet to see the immediate effects. But this problem is like a pipeline being shut off 10 miles down the road. We may not notice it right away, but soon it'll start to turn into a trickle.
In central New York, we are seeing the effects at our airports, our schools, our hospitals, and throughout our community:
280 employees are slated to be furloughed at the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field, a unit currently in operations in Afghanistan;
The air traffic control tower at Hancock Airport may close for overnight flights;
The Syracuse City Schools could lose more than a million dollars in aid. They have already lost nearly a thousand positions in the last 3 years.
Mr. Speaker, we cannot continue to slam our schools and expect to have an educated workforce for the 21st century. We need to address our debt and balance the budget. But we can't do it on the backs of our middle class and seniors, and we shouldn't do it at the expense of thousands of hardworking men and women: our teachers, public health workers, law enforcement officers, prison guards, FDA inspectors, Social Security workers, and civilian Defense Department workers. They're just trying to make a living and keep their jobs.
Just as my constituents have asked me to do, I'm going to keep urging this House to take action. We need to work together to protect our middle class, protect jobs, and get our economy moving again. We cannot continue this policy of random cuts time and again, putting our economy at risk. We have to stop punishing our constituents because Washington doesn't work.