DeLauro: Budget sequestration still hurting ‘millions’ of citizens

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is pleased Congress has taken action to reverse FAA air traffic controller furloughs, but remains critical of federal budget reductions she said are impacting other federal programs.

“Passage of the FAA ‘fix’ helps the air travelers who have wasted hours waiting for delayed flights this week and air traffic controllers who want to get back to work,” said DeLauro, a Democrat whose district includes a part of Shelton.

“Unfortunately, it does nothing to help the kids kicked off of Head Start, workers who need critical job training, the public health researchers who will have to delay their work on life-threatening diseases, the educators facing layoffs and school children facing bigger classes, or the seniors who will lose access to Meals on Wheels,” DeLauro said.

Cuts called ‘deeply harmful’

Many Democrats, such as DeLauro, have been critical of sequestration — a federal law passed by Congress and approved by President Barack Obama that is designed to lower or slow government spending as a way to reduce the federal budget deficit.

DeLauro, a New Haven resident in her 12th term, refers to the sequestration cutbacks as “deeply harmful, across-the-board budget cuts.”

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in taking action to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to transfer money within its budget to cover air traffic controller salaries. Obama is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.

The FAA’s air traffic controller furloughs were leading to air delays at some major airports.

‘Millions more are suffering’

“This week’s delays were just one repercussion of sequestration, but millions more are suffering,” DeLauro said. “Congress needs to pass a responsible budget that ends sequestration and its impact on everyone, not just a select few.”

Some Republicans have accused the Obama administration and federal departments of targeting the sequestration-required cutbacks in areas where they would be the most felt by the public. Obama now is critical of the sequestration.

Democrats have countered that the budget reductions required by sequestration will hurt the economy and the delivery of services by various federal agencies.

The city of Shelton is divided between the Third District, represented by DeLauro, and the Fourth District, represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.