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Lawmakers Disagree on Sequester's Impact to Region

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, March 1, 2013
This day has been looming for months. Lawmakers from both parties decry the indiscriminate budget cuts, yet lawmakers couldn't put partisan differences aside and reach a deal.
So now they're dealing with the fallout: cuts to education, housing, healthcare, conservation programs - the list is seemingly endless. Fairfield Democratic Congressman John Garamendi says many families in his district will feel those cuts directly.

"This is going to be serious in my district. I have two big Air Force bases with about 5,000 civilian employees that are going to be furloughed 20 percent of the time," Garamendi said. "So immediately, there's a major hit on those families, they're going to lose 20 percent of their income."

But some Republicans are accusing Democrats of making much ado about nothing. After President Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package in his first term, Richvale Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa says surely the budget can handle an $80 billion haircut this year. 

"We can't even do $85 (billion)? So it's a pretty disingenuous argument," he said.

LaMalfa wants Congress to redirect the budget cuts - keeping the same dollar amount, just reprioritizing them. But he says sequestration is a down payment on the nation's $16 trillion debt.

"We do have to show, at some point, some fiscal discipline here," LaMalfa said.

Democrats continue to demand more revenue to get the budget in order, which leaves the two parties right where they've been for sometime: gridlocked.

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