The government purse strings Rep. Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) watches over while acting as the Chairman on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee do not have to remain tightened by the sequestration cuts in effect starting on Friday, March 1st the Congress failed to prevent, but Issa will have to point out the cuts to "programs that don't work" to ease the budget tightening that left defense, health, and energy employers too little room to save the federal investments that fund jobs in San Diego. Issa opened this month's work with questions sent to 17 federal departments, including the Labor Department, that ask the department inspector generals to indentify inefficient spending the government can cut instead of the regular spending cut by sequestration.
"We cannot avert sequestration without a plan to end the undisciplined and unsustainable federal spending that resulted in the sequester in the first place," Issa said in his letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. LaHood has to consider a cost reducing streamlining plan for the high priced NextGen airport transportation work that will modernize flight systems at airports.
Before hiring plans can be restored at companies such as San Diego's NuVasive, that had to put 200 jobs on hold, the kind of local cut back the President called "pain," becomes out of reach, the cuts can be replaced. President Obama made the alternative spending reduction plan clear after meeting with congressional leader for both parties on Friday morning.
San Diego has to reckon with heavy losses in major enterprises. Labor markets in defense and research both weakened the moment the clock struck 12:00 am Friday morning.
The losses in job opportunities experienced across America can not get set off by government investments. Job cuts among border patrol agents and air traffic controllers add to the damage that will be done.
Rep. Scot Peters has not succeeded in saving the jobs expected to get cut from the workforce employed by San Diego's 240 companies in its medical device industry, though he was quick to propose legislation to get rid of the medical device tax that went into effect on January 1st. Now San Diego's thriving health research companies and institutions have to handle the deep cuts made to NIH funds that were made March 1st to avoid a deficit crisis.
Time was too short in 2013 to fix the deficit reduction plan before the sequestration approved in the Budget Control Act took effect. The last day in February, Congresswoman Susan Davis joined by Peters and Rep. Juan Vargas, sailed to the end of the legislative day after having finally passed the reauthorization for the Violence Against Women Act that guarantees aw enforcement fits a finger to protect victims, not matter their heritage. 2013 had been hectic.
Expect during the ten days hopes in avoiding the sequester were crushed by the recess from the 15th until the 25th House Republicans, including Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa, outnumbered the House Democrats to pass.
The vote that raised the debt limit to give Congress the room to continue to spend to meet its obligations until May 19th came on January 23rd. Both Davis and Vargas did not get the guarantee on spending they were seeking to stop the workers and middle class families in San Diego from getting hit hard. In early February, the Republican attempt to pass the bill that gave President Obama notice he had to add a balanced budget plan with a budget year target toe get his 2014 budget proposal in was defeated by the Democrats on the rolls.
Federal employees had to again take the burden of saving the U.S. Government money. And, San Diego's representatives could not get together with fellow congressmembers to stop the freeze on the 0.5 percent cost of living pay increase. Peters, a man who did not believe getting paid while unable to pass a budget was right, agreed to support the budget fix with the two local republicans. The two other Democrats ended up having no choice.
Issa's plan to work with Obama to keep job creating spending investments coming to San Diego is underway. After the departments offer their contributions to deficit reduction, the House will have to judge if enough is saved to put an end to the damage the sequester cuts are causing. His committee starts a series of hearings on stopping inefficiency in government spending on next Tuesday, March 5th, at 10 am. The energy and transportation departments start off the series.
This is an On The Watch Take.