Across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect on March 1 are likely to have a negative impact on the states, Democratic Governors Association chairman Peter Shumlin said Friday.
Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, said, “The president’s frustration and our frustration is simple. We’re in economic recovery. We can blow it or we can continue to make it happen.”
“We’re talking in Vermont about telling our National Guard they will be furloughed one day a week, firefighters, police officers, teachers, the list goes on and on,” he said.
Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy said, “This is another kick in the teeth by Republicans to the middle class of America. That’s who’s going to pay the price because they don’t want to meet the president in the middle, they don’t want to negotiate, they don’t want to have discussions. This is crazy.”
They were among several Democratic governors who visited the White House Friday morning ahead of this weekend’s National Governors Association winter meeting.
With a week remaining until the cuts are set to go into effect, Shumlin reiterated the Democratic argument that the lack of a resolution is due to “the games being played by the Republicans in Congress.”
While the NGA’s meeting last July focused heavily on the decision facing governors on whether to opt out of the national health care overhaul’s Medicaid expansion, this time around, sequestration is at the top of the agenda.
On Sunday, many of the governors are expected to speak out on the issue as they make the morning talk show circuit, and in the evening, sequestration will likely be in the spotlight again when President Obama hosts a reception for the governors at the White House.