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Rep. Richmond Calls on GOP to Act on Balanced Plan to Avert Automatic Spending Cuts

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, following the release of a new report by the Obama Administration on the harm that automatic spending cuts scheduled to occur on Friday would have on Louisiana, Rep. Richmond renewed his call for House Republicans to take swift action on a balanced plan to stop spending cuts that would jeopardize a range of vital services for children, seniors, small businesses, and our men and women in uniform.

"The Obama Administration's new report released today delivers a harsh reality check surveying the damage to our fragile economy and to the safety and security of families here in Louisiana," said Rep. Richmond. "The drastic, across-the-board, automatic spending cuts that start this Friday are indifferent to party affiliation. Instead, they will indiscriminately target children in school, hungry seniors, college students struggling to pay for college, people looking for a job, women who are the victims of violence, and our public safety and health."

"For this reason alone, I have joined with my colleagues to call on the House Republican leadership to do what is right for our nation's economy, security and families and take action this week on a balanced plan to avert these damaging and mindless spending cuts."

This new report demonstrates some of the devastating and widespread cuts to local communities in Louisiana:

Teachers and Schools: Louisiana will lose approximately $15.8 million for primary and secondary education, putting around 220 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 26,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 50 fewer schools would receive funding.

Education for Children with Disabilities: Louisiana will lose approximately $9.8 million for about 120 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

College Aid and Work-Study Jobs: Around 540 fewer low income students in Louisiana would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 110 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,400 children in Louisiana, reducing access to critical early education.

Military Readiness: In Louisiana approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $35.9 million in total.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds: Louisiana will lose about $264,000 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 17,150 fewer residents will get the help and skills they need to find employment as Louisiana will lose about $509,000 for job search assistance, referral, and placement.

Child Care: Up to 600 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.

Vaccines for Children: In Louisiana around 1,730 fewer children will 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: Louisiana could lose up to $97,000 to provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 400 fewer victims being served.

Nutrition for Seniors: Louisiana would lose approximately $488,000 to help provide meals for seniors.

Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Louisiana would lose about $2.5 million to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

Public Health: Louisiana will lose approximately $433,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Louisiana will lose about $1.3 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 1,300 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. Additionally, The Louisiana State Department of Public Health will lose about $320,000 resulting in around 8,000 fewer HIV tests.

"With every passing day, thousands of jobs are at risk, the security of middle class families hang in the balance, and the safety of neighborhoods across the state of Louisiana are in jeopardy. Our nation's economy cannot afford any further uncertainty, obstruction, or delay. Too much is at stake," Rep. Richmond stressed.

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