State House News Service
BOSTON -- Education aid, military-base funding and job-training assistance are all on the line for Massachusetts, as automatic federal spending cuts are scheduled to kick in Friday barring a deal on an alternative between Congress and the White House.
The White House released state-by-state impact reports detailing what President Barack Obama says is at stake if Congress doesn't compromise on new revenue.
"Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe," the statement from the White House said. "By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction."
The briefing said Massachusetts would lose $13.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, jeopardizing up to 190 teacher and aide jobs, in addition to $13.4 million in funding for about 160 teachers and staff who help children with disabilities.
The White House said the so-called "sequestration" cuts would also eliminate financial aid for about 580 low-income college students, cut funding for Head Start and Early Head Start services for 1,100 children, and strip $4 million for clean-water and -air programs.
According to the White House:
n 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed.
n Funding for Army base operations in Massachusetts would be cut by $8 million.
n Air Force operations would be cut by $5 million.
n $300,000 in Justice Assistance grants for police and the courts would be stripped.
n $787,000 in job-search assistance funds for Massachusetts workers would be cut.
n Federal funding for child vaccinations would be reduced by $201,000.
n $535,000 for senior meals would be eliminated.
Obama has put forward a deficit-reduction deal that the White House argues will reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion, and includes twice as much in spending cuts as new revenue drawn from wealthier Americans. House Republicans have resisted higher taxes, arguing that the federal spending can be reduced without risking a tax increase that would hurt a fragile economy.
The automatic cuts were part of a deal reached in 2012 between the White House and congressional Republicans to raise the debt ceiling, the hope being that an alternative solution could be reached before the trigger date. But after agreeing to a two-month extension for negotiations in January, Obama and Congress do not appear any closer to a deal.