A bipartisan budget deal won final approval in the Congress last week. It averts the threat of another government shutdown and eases the impact of the across-the-board  spending cuts known as sequestration.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Jo Comerford, executive director of the National Priorities Project about what the budget deal means.

The Massachusetts economy took a significant hit because of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration.  A study released this week estimated the impact the $1 trillion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts had in the Bay State.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

On Wednesday, New York Congressman Chris Gibson was at The Business Council of New York State office in Albany, where he received the Spirit of Enterprise Award recognizing his pro-business, voting record as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ron Eidshaug,  vice president of Congressional and Public Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, presented the award.

Gibson said he appreciates the support of the Chamber and the Business Council... The Kinderhook-based Republican elected in 2010 explained his No. 1 priority is growing the economy.


Just three weeks after being sworn in as the new U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Democrat Edward Markey began a series of public events around the state today. His first stop was in Northampton.

Markey, who was criticized for a light schedule of public appearances during the special election campaign, said he plans to visit every part of the state during the August Congressional recess to learn about local issues and what Washington can do to help.

    Sequestration’s effects are being felt in our backyard.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that West Point furloughs never should have happened.

  The sequester has led to cuts across the country.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that his district’s military presence makes the cuts even worse.

    The sequester has led to cuts and furloughs across the land.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Democratic Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the across-the-board cuts were a bad idea to begin with.

US Air Force

Furloughs of civilian workers for the U.S. Department of Defense begin today.  The mandatory days off without pay were ordered by the Secretary of Defense as a result of the across the board federal budget cuts known as sequestration.  About 700 employees at the Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts are affected.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the public affairs officer for the 439th  Airlift Wing  Air Force Master Sergeant Andrew Biscoe.

  The sequester has been the law of the land since March.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Chris Gibson — a Republican from the 19th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the budget cuts are not to his liking.


Sequestration cuts continue taking their toll - U.S. Representative Paul Tonko says Congress is ready to bargain.

Sequester cuts are affecting everything from "Meals on Wheels" programs to cancer clinics being forced to turn Medicare patients away due to the high cost of chemotherapy.

Is sequestration any closer to resolution?

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WASHINGTON – President Obama’s proposed 2014 federal budget includes an additional $100 million for the Department of Labor to spend on programs to better serve veterans and returning serving members seeking jobs.

With Castle Point and Montrose VA hospitals and their outpatient clinics in the Mid-Hudson Valley and nine job centers also located in the region, if approved, the additional funding would provide for more federal services for those job seekers, Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris told on Tuesday.

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The Vermont National Guard says the number of furlough days for about 500 of its federal technicians is being reduced from 14 to 11.

  Sequestration took a turn when flight delays held up air traffic around the country.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the sequester is an ongoing mess.

Sean Philpott: Fight or Flight

May 2, 2013

I travel a lot for work. It’s the rare week when I’m not on the road or in the air to attend a conference, give a talk at some symposium, or serve on some panel or commission. In fact, if you’re listening to this commentary as it airs on the radio, I am likely on a plane cruising at 32,000 feet somewhere between Albany and Washington, DC. Given this grueling travel schedule, I was less than thrilled to hear that the federal budget sequester would affect air travel across the US.

Blair Horner: Sequester Cuts Begin To Bite

Apr 29, 2013

Americans are starting to feel the bite of the federal sequestration.  Sequestration is the term referring to the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts in the federal government’s domestic and military budgets.  Sequestration went into effect last month when Congress was unable to agree on an alternative.

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WASHINGTON – Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, Cold Spring) asked President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to reduce the impact of sequestration on civilian employees.

The lawmaker’s request came in a letter to both officials in support of legislation to give more flexibility to the Pentagon on sequestration cuts and to shift more than $10 billion into Pentagon operations and maintenance accounts.

ALBANY – Sequester-related cuts are apparently going to suspend tuition assistance for military personnel so Assemblyman Kiernan Michael Lalor (R- Fishkill) and Senator Gregory Ball (R- Patterson) Monday announced they will propose tuition reductions for those attending SUNY and CUNY schools.

Lalor said the measure, which has wide spread support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, is the right thing to do.

  The sequester has divided Washington yet again.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Democratic Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he believes the sequester was a gimmick from the get-go. 

  Budget plans are being discussed in Washington, but the sequester’s shadow is large.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Chris Gibson — a Republican from the 19th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the Defense Department should not be underfunded.

  Sequestration is causing widespread cuts to essential programs.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Chris Gibson — a Republican from the 19th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the country never should have reached this point.

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The automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration have begun and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is raising concerns about the potential impact on Vermonters. 

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders says the automatic federal budget cuts are hurting Vermonters.

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Low income advocates joined U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Monday to warn that the automatic federal budget cuts will harm low income Vermonters.

Community organizations and agencies gathered in Utica today to call on Washington to repeal sequestration and support measures that will help close the federal deficit without hurting vulnerable groups.   

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Today we are discussing two hot topics – how the so-called sequester could affect the 2014 midterm elections, and fracking in New York.

The budget cuts known as sequestration took effect last Friday, and while the overall effects of the cuts on national and local economies and government efficiency have yet to be realized, the effect of the cuts on the national political landscape may be coming into focus this week.

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According to a recent analysis, community health centers and residents of medically underserved areas will be hard hit by federal budget cuts through sequestration.

The report released Monday as part of a collaborative study between the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy, part of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, and the RCHN Community Health Foundation, reveals that due to federal budget cuts through sequestration, the nation’s 1,200 community health programs will lose $120 million in funding.

What do you make of the sequester?

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Most business economists opposed the automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday night amid the gridlock between President Obama and Congress.

But they overwhelmingly support efforts to reduce the deficit over the next 10 years.

That's according to a survey released Monday of 196 members of the National Association for Business Economics.

The survey, done from Jan. 21 to Feb. 13, gave some support to both sides in the U.S. government budget debate.

According to analysis from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, federal budget cuts to research funding including grants from the National Institutes of Health could mean a loss of $127 million in Massachusetts. New York coulld lose $104 million.

Jennifer Zeitzer, Director of Legislative Affairs for FASEB, said that for the Bay State, the cuts could slow a fast growing life sciences industry.

FASEB estimates that all recipient institutions may have to cut their budgets by 5.1%

There is great uncertainty about the impact the federal budget cuts, through the process known as sequestration, will have on the Massachusetts economy.   But regional economists remain cautiously optimistic, according to an analysis released this week.