Sequestration Fallout Looms Over San Diego
Monday, February 18, 2013
Aired 2/19/13 on KPBS News.
Federal budget "sequestration" looms over the country and the Port of San Diego. Freshman Congressman Scott Peters Monday addressed the $85 billion automatic budget cuts this year that he says will threaten jobs and local economy.
As Congress begins its 10-day recess, automatic spending cuts known as sequestration are hovering like a dark cloud. The automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect at the end of this month unless lawmakers reach an agreement.
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Newly-elected Congressman Scott Peters, who represents San Diego's 52nd District, told KPBS sequestration is "the wrong way to go about spending cuts."
"If you look at any of the bipartisan approaches, whether it's Simpson-Bowles or the Domenici-Rivlin kind of approach, people who have looked at the budget and figured out how to get a hold of it," he said. "And they'd like us to do this over time. They take painful measures, no doubt about it, but the idea of this sequestration, they're saying is more like an amputation."
Peters said the cuts would be too broad and can throw the country back into the recession. He also wants to connect San Diego's Port to the national system of highways and trains, but said sequestration would not make that possible.
He said it could also threaten San Diego's scientific research industries and the military's impact on the local economy.
Peters questioned why Congress is in a recess when these cuts loom so heavily.
"As nice as it is to be in San Diego getting my Vitamin D, we oughta be in (Washington) D.C. working on this problem," he said.
Claire Trageser contributed to this report.