Sequestration Latest: 'There's Gonna Be Real Pain'
The cuts known as sequestration became the law of the land late Friday night, with predictions they will lead to reduced government services and benefits and reduced pay as federal workers are forced to take furloughs.
The effects will likely be widespread in northern New York but not immediate. Hospitals and schools will lose funding, passage across the U.S.- Canada border could take longer and Fort Drum's civilian federal workforce will see a 20 percent cut in pay for several months, starting in April.
There is no movement in Washington to reverse or temper the cuts. In his weekly radio address, President Obama reiterated his call to replace sequestration with a "balanced approach" of more gradual spending cuts and tax "reform."
Republicans in Washington have opposed any effort to end sequestration by raising taxes, whether by increasing rates or making other adjustments.
North country Congressman Bill Owens said Friday "I think it's gonna take 30 to 45 days, as I've said before, for this to be really felt, to determine exactly how much will be cut from various programs."
But, he added, "I think there's gonna be real substantial pain for people as this rolls out."
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
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