Federal cuts will hit home

The across-the-board automatic spending cuts that took effect last week are a national story, but Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) want their constituents to know that the cuts will be felt locally.

At the Mothers’ Club Family Learning Center in northwest Pasadena on Friday, Schiff and Chu railed against the cuts — known as sequestration — that will translate to a $9-million cut in federal funding for Chu’s district in 2013 alone, according to her office.

Schiff said the sequester cuts would mean losing 750,000 jobs nationally at a time when the country is finally starting to see an uptick in hiring.

“This is not an opportunity to throw a roadblock in our economy,” Schiff said. “Our economy is poised to recover. Do we want to get in the way of that?”

Flanking the House representatives were local school officials and service providers who stand to lose out on federal funding.

Schiff said Congress had already been able to put in place plans to reduce the debt by about $2 trillion, but the government had to put in place a plan to trim another $2 trillion to prevent the damaging across-the board cuts called for via the sequester.

House Democrats, he added, were willing to compromise — as shown in the first round of debt-reduction, which was composed primarily of spending cuts, not tax increases — but he called out the Republican Party as acting like an unreliable negotiating partner.

“Reducing the debt is important, but it isn’t a substitute for an economic plan,” Schiff said in a statement. “In our zeal to cut the debt, we must not reduce our investment in the future or we will have struck the worst of all bargains.”


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