While the effects of sequestration will be gradual and its impacts will build over the coming weeks and months, the irrational, across-the-board spending cuts imposed by this process could have a serious impact on Fifth District families and businesses. There is still time to prevent the worst consequences, but unfortunately, the House has done nothing to address sequestration this week and House Republicans, who control the agenda, have not allowed the balanced alternative that I have co-sponsored to be brought to the Floor for a vote.
In a continued effort to highlight the impact sequestration could have on our state, I recently visited a Head Start program in Prince George’s County. In our state alone, sequestration could mean 800 children losing access to the comprehensive services provided through this program. During my visit, I heard from parents, teachers, and staff about the difference this program is making in the lives of students and their families. It’s clear these drastic cuts could substantially undermine their ability to succeed.
I also recently met with federal employees at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and discussed how our federal workers could be impacted by sequester. While, thankfully, NASA Goddard may not be as adversely affected as other federal facilities, many federal workers in Maryland could see potential furloughs if we do not replace the sequester. These furloughs come on top of the $103 billion that federal employees have already contributed toward deficit reduction in the form of pay freezes and increased pension contributions. These middle-class workers, who ensure the safety and wellbeing of our nation, and the millions of Americans who rely on the services they provide cannot afford this irrational process.
While I have been calling for a balanced alternative to sequestration for months, my discussions with constituents over the last week underscore the urgency of replacing this meat-ax approach to deficit reduction as soon as possible. I continue to urge both parties to work together to avoid the harmful impact sequestration could have here in Maryland and across the country.
As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you, and please continue to share your concerns and insights with me by contacting my office or connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.