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

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

"Today, the Obama Administration reminded us of the damage to our fragile economy and to the safety and security of families here in New Mexico that the drastic, indiscriminate, across-the-board, automatic spending cuts that start Friday will cause. Whether it is children in school, hungry seniors, military readiness and defense jobs, or women who are the victims of violence, or our public safety and health, this report details the damaging impact these cuts will have on people here in New Mexico. These cuts will also put at risk more than $900 million in loan guarantees to the backbone of our economy, small businesses. New Mexicans cannot afford another self-inflicted wound from Washington.

"That is why on behalf of all New Mexicans, 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.

"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 work toward compromise on a plan to reduce the deficit because they refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes.

"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 New Mexico are in jeopardy. Our nation's economy cannot afford any further uncertainty, obstruction, and delay. Too much is at stake."

This new report demonstrates some of the devastating and widespread impact to local communities just this year, here in New Mexico:

* Teachers and Schools: New Mexico will lose approximately $6.1 million for primary and secondary education, putting around 80 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 12,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 30 fewer schools would receive funding.

* Education for Children with Disabilities: New Mexico will lose approximately $4.4 million for about 50 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

* College Aid and Work-Study Jobs: Around 160 fewer low income students in New Mexico would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 50 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 500 children in New Mexico, reducing access to critical early education.

* Military Readiness: In New Mexico, approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $42 million in total.

* Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds: New Mexico will lose about $135,000 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 9,620 fewer New Mexicans will get the help and skills they need to find employment as New Mexico will lose about $257,000 for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning.

* Child Care: Up to 400 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 New Mexico around 790 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: New Mexico could lose up to $40,000 to provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 200 fewer victims being served.

* Nutrition for Seniors: New Mexico would lose approximately $401,000 to help provide meals for seniors.

* Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: New Mexico would lose about $1,260,000 to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

* Public Health: New Mexico will lose approximately $197,000 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, New Mexico will lose about $450,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 300 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the New Mexico State Department of Public Health will lose about $84,000 resulting in around 2,100 fewer HIV tests.

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