Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Time is running out for Congress to do something to avoid a series of automatic, across the board cuts to government agencies and programs.
It totals $1.2-trillion over 10 years, split 50/50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending. Congressman Dan Maffei says one of the most frustrating things about the cuts is that it’s unclear exactly where they would land in Central New York.
The White House has put out its estimates state-by-state. Here in New York they include millions in cuts to education. Maffei says they’re working to find out more specifics on which districts would lose out and by how much. It would also mean cuts to the military and it would affect not just Fort Drum, but also likely defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin and SRC here in Central New York.
"These are not thoughtful cuts, these are arbitrary. It’s important to balance the budget, but we have to do it in the right way. These arbitrary cuts will actually harm the economy and make it more difficult to pay off the debt in the long run, so it just doesn't make sense,” Congressman Maffei told NewsChannel 9.
Maffei says it’s possible if a deal isn’t struck by Friday that it would take some time before the actual cuts are felt, but it’s a game he isn’t willing to play. Maffei is holding a telephone town hall meeting which will focus on the upcoming automatic spending cuts Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
You may participate in that call by calling toll-free, 855-246-7045. When prompted, enter extension 21011#.
Households in the 24th Congressional District will also receive automated calls Tuesday night asking them to join the conference call.
Maffei will take questions from callers, as well as ask questions to get your feedback. Participants will also be given the opportunity to leave a message with their questions or comments at the end of the call.
Maffei, who was in town to attend the funeral of a family member, is headed back to Washington on Tuesday.