U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop said Monday that if Washington lawmakers cannot strike a deal before Friday to avert automatic across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, the pain will be felt locally.
Bishop, D-Southampton, called for House Republicans to compromise on a plan he said would be balanced, protect the economy and preserve "vital services."
The White House released state-by-state reports on the impact sequestration is expected to have, and citing the New York State report, Bishop said that $3 billion in aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy will be cut, and in the First Congressional District, Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Lab and the 106th Air Rescue Wing at Gabreski will have their budgets slashed.
"Long Island's economy cannot afford another self-inflicted wound, and we must act now to prevent this avoidable hit to our fragile recovery," Bishop is quoted as saying in a statement from his office "I urge the House GOP Leadership to come to the table on a plan to reduce the deficit with responsible — as opposed to indiscriminate — spending cuts, increased revenues and growth with jobs."
But Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said Monday that President Barack Obama is "campaigning" on the effects of the sequester while he should be calling on the Senate, which has a Democratic majority, to adopt a credible plan. Boehner said at a press conference, “You know, the president proposed the sequester, yet he’s far more interested in holding campaign rallies than he is in urging his Senate Democrats to actually pass a plan."
Bishop's office stated that according to the White House report, New York is slated to lose $42.7 million for primary and secondary education, putting 590 jobs at risk, and another $36.3 million for the education of children with disabilities, risking another 440 jobs. Further, Head Start early education services, such as those offered by Bridgehampton Head Start, will be cut for 4,300 children in New York. Around 7,170 won't receive vaccines.
Also on the chopping block for New York are $180 million in army base funding, $780,000 in justice assistance grants for local law enforcement and initiates, $1.5 million to provide meals to seniors, and $12.9 million for ensuring clean air and water.