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Article published February 25, 2013
Sen. Casey says budget cuts to hurt state
WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Casey took to the media Monday to warn about the massive federal spending cuts looming if the $85 billion sequester goes into effect Friday. Casey, speaking via conference call, also championed a Democratic counterproposal that would delay the sequestration and make the massive cuts more gradual. The Democratic senator said he’s most alarmed by the 26,000 civilian contractors employed in Pennsylvania by the Department of Defense who would be furloughed by the sequester. Included in those cuts are $150 million in defense pay reductions as well as the cutting of more than $7 million to operate Army bases in Pennsylvania. “A lot of jobs are at stake here that relate to our defense budget,” he said. “And just having the threat of that kind of job loss or substantial furloughing is not good for anyone.” Casey also lamented the fact that more than $73 million could be cut in funding from the National Institutes of Health, money that goes to medical research and innovation. “We’re at a time where we should be increasing funding in that area,” he said. “But the sequester would take that in the opposite direction in a very bad way.”