Updated 02/20/2013 07:05 PM
Some in Congress Hope to Push Back Sequestration Deadline
With the sequestration deadline looming, members of Congress are speaking out on the issue. If Congress fails to act in eight days, $1.2 trillion in domestic and defense spending cuts will go into effect.
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"It's a stupid thing. I don't know any other way to characterize this as absolute stupidity," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, (D) 25th District.
Slaughter says she voted against the Sequestration Act because it would jeopardize America's recovering economy.
"We can only imagine the devastation of it," said Slaughter. "But the most important thing, I think; 27,000 employees right now in New York will probably lose their jobs. But it could be the biggest displacement of employees since the Depression in '29 and many good economists believe it could set off that same kind of reaction."
Slaughter believes local residents will first notice cuts at the Greater Rochester International Airport. She says ten percent of the nation's FAA's workforce would be furloughed, which could lead to reduced air traffic control, leading to longer flight delays.
In a statement, Republican Congressman Tom Reed said, in part: "With the unemployment rate near eight percent nationally, another tax increase would only further burden taxpayers. The Democratic Party already got their tax increase, and though they want even higher taxes, the fact is this is a spending problem. We need to downsize the federal government, not increase taxes on families to fund an even bigger one."
Slaughter says she's hopeful Congress will agree to push back the March 1 deadline, so a deal can be reached to avoid across the board cuts.
"We're operating on a continuing resolution and the continuing resolution expires on March 27th, I believe. They could move it down to that date and give them two or three more weeks to work on something."
Slaughter says Republicans are blaming sequestration on the White House.
"President Obama proposed these devastating across the board spending cuts and insisted they become law. The House has voted twice to replace the President's sequester with common sense spending cuts and reforms that will help achieve a balanced budget within a decade," said Rep. Chris Collins, (R).
Slaughter criticized her Republican colleagues for going on recess rather than staying in Washington and addressing this issue.