Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) highlighted a new report by the House Committee on Appropriations detailing the impact of the sequester, the broad, across the board cuts that would go into effect on March 1st if Congress does not act.
According to the Appropriations Committee report, California would suffer $13 million in cuts from childhood education programs and $92 million from Special Education programs. Alameda County in particular would face drastic cuts affecting the police force, low-income housing assistance, and mental health funding. Health departments across the country would perform 424,000 fewer HIV tests, an estimated 25,000 fewer breast cancer screenings would be available to low-income, high-risk women, and community health centers would serve 900,000 fewer patients.
"As a former mental health social worker, I know how important this funding is to low-income families. Access to quality, affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right, and for the working poor, and especially African Americans, community health centers are an essential piece of their well-being," the Congresswoman said.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, sequestration would cut economic growth by a third, and an expected one million jobs would be lost. Job Corps, a national job training program, would suffer a cut approaching $100 million, gutting a critical piece to getting the unemployed back to work.
"At a time when we should be investing in job training and ensuring that our economic recovery stays on track, Republicans are choosing a path that makes the poor and vulnerable suffer while protecting tax cuts for the wealthiest. We can't allow Republicans and their sequester to push struggling families over the edge," said Congresswoman Lee.