Elected officials and advocates wasted little time celebrating President Barack Obama’s re-election. That’s because come Jan. 1, Congress could drive the country over the “fiscal cliff” and cut $800 million in federal programs and services. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, along with Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, released a citywide impact report on the fiscal cliff detailing which programs would be cut and by how much.
“We would lose, in this country, a billion dollars in cuts to FEMA right after [Hurricane Sandy] if this is allowed to go forward,” Stringer said yesterday. “The NYCHA developments would take a hit, $190 million, Homeland Security would go down $27 million, the Department of Education, charged with the responsibility of educating our children, would be hit by $75 million. Meanwhile, people making $50,000 a year or less would see $2,000 in new taxes. This is unacceptable.”
Camille Rivera, the executive director of UnitedNY, also cited Hurricane Sandy and the risk of climate change. “The infrastructure changes are important, not only because we need to rebuild, but we understand that we have a global climate issue, and we have to be prepared for that, but it can also create jobs,” Rivera said.