Thursday, December 25, 2014


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The Berkshires

How the sequester will impact upstate New York

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Albany/HV: How the sequester will impact upstate New York
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Massive budget cuts could take effect next week if lawmakers don't strike a deal on the sequester. Nick Reisman has more on the impact upstate New Yorkers could face.

NATIONWIDE -- Once again, Congress and President Obama are up against a fiscal deadline that could have great impact on many New Yorkers lives. If a deal isn't reached by next Friday, you can expect longer lines at airport security and fewer inspections of meat and vegetables that end upon your dinner table. As many as 100,000 jobs in New York could be lost, according to analysis by George Mason University.

The cuts will impact most organizations that rely on federal aid. $2.5 billion in funding for medical research is on the chopping block, impacting several upstate hospitals. Also Medicare is facing $11 billion in cuts which means reduced services for the elderly. On the education front, many of the poorer school districts will see their federal funding decline.

“The struggling district, so those now who have taken it on the chin most severely, are impacted most deeply by sequestration,” said Rep. Paul Tonko.

If you’re a frequent flyer you may see the impact more immediately. Friday the FAA announced that it may shut down air traffic control towers in Binghamton, Rome, Ithaca, and Niagara Falls. It is also planning to reduce staff in many other airports. Meanwhile, the Transportation Safety Administration is preparing to furlough workers, resulting in longer lines at security checkpoints. Members of Congress say the situation is grave; but, they are optimistic a deal can be reached.

“Unfortunately, congress waits until the last minute. People get scared. Most of the time, we avoid going over any cliff. I'm hopeful that is what will happen next week,” said Sen. Charles Schumer.

But House Republicans and President Obama seem to be at an impasse. Obama is calling for tax reform to raise revenue and offset cuts. But Republicans say his plan is a tax hike, which they won't support.

To see Obama’s full plan, visit: ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP