Friday, March 1, 2013

Owens: most people will feel pain of sequester

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says the impact of cuts at the federal prison in Ray Brook is on his mind. He says officials there will have some discretion as far as where to cut. "I'm counting on management in those circumstances," says Owens, "to make sure that they do their furloughing in such a way that they do manage this for the safety of the officers and obviously the prisoners."

Owens held a telephone press conference yesterday afternoon to discuss the impacts of the across-the-board federal cuts known as the sequester. The Democrat says the standoff in Washington may only change if the public feels some pain.

Congressman Owens says people are fatigued and are losing interest in the budget battles in Washington. That's giving little impetus for Republicans and Democrats to strike deals.

But Owens says that could change when people start to feel the effect of five to eight percent cuts at all federal agencies.

"Meals on wheels may be cut. You have programs for schools that may be cut. You will have civilian employees furloughed. You will have military spending cut in terms of operations and maintenance. That means contractors will lose contracts, will be paid less for those contracts. So all of those have spin-off effects. There's really been no very specific impact on people. I think when that starts to happen, I think people will re-engage." FULL POST


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