The cuts in small business loan guarantees and health research funds postponed until the sequester on March 1st depend on a deal made by the President and Congress, one with all the cuts Obama wants in a deal, or a scaled down package of spending cuts and tax reforms the President invites that might leave San Diego short on critical jobs creation funds. Rep. Susan Davis, who spent the 112th Congress making sure the city did not end up empty handed, if the SBA and NIH funds remain controversial, might see funds stricken off the federal budget list.
Barack Obama said on Tuesday, February 5th, "Deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security will cost us jobs, and it will slow down our recovery."
A moderate approach to deficit reduction has not been easy to straighten out. The White House took stock on the losses expected if cities and towns have to take the full weight of the sequestration cuts. A loss of 10,000 teacher jobs is just a start. Cancelling planned loan guarantees for small businesses, the popular kind of business Davis has counted onto create most jobs in San Diego, will save close to a billion dollars in budget money. Even saving millions of Americans from deadly diseases by using NIH research grant funds to make biotechnology advances that improve prevention and treatment is not a secure hope. The coming funding year will look nothing like the year that followed the passage of the Recovery Act Davis added millions in local NIH funds to. Medical researches in the San Diego biotechnology workforce can not take comfort in a built up number of well funded research positions.
The workforce committee member also has to count on resisting Republican spending cut efforts in the House in order to save Job Corps funding from a tough decision on the Clinton program her committee peers have said must get made to resolve a program budget shortfall that has existed since 2011 the DOL has failed to fix. Roles in the civilian conservation corps might get put on the shelf.
San Diego's representative can trust help on saving funds from spending cuts is in safe hands.
Obama is not ready to quit on minimizing the damage done to the local economies that have recovered enough to prevent panic over a long term poor economy from becoming popular in America.
He will sign off on many Republican supported cut proposals, but reject others. Still, while spending cutters take aim at budget line items, there is no local legislator who can stand aside and watch the cuts grow.
Military spending is not the battleground Obama has drawn the line on this time, instead steering Republicans away from entitlement cuts, but Davis can not stand by and let the House repeat a failure to act on the defense cuts Republicans she opposed last September tried to pass a bill to ask the President to replace with across the board cuts. There still can be an ultimate win on funds covered by the 110 billion in defense spending that was set for sequester cuts by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Davis has not been willing to give up on the discretionary spending on military programs that prevents military wives and husbands from spending time out of work. The DOD's military spouse jobs program designed to advance careers in health and education was earlier added to the funding cut list. There is no retreat on the program that has been popular enough in San Diego for a national conference to be held in the city.
Larger spending cuts than necessary is something neither Obama nor Davis have said they will accept. The President on Tuesday said that deficit reduction has to get done in a "balanced way." Last year, after the first of the two fiscal cliff deals was made on the middle class tax cut extension, an the higher taxes on the rich, Davis, who said travesty had been avoided and the economy "saved from the brink," also did not leave room for too much spending cuts. The budget choices have to add up in way that leaves opportunities for recovery progress open. She then trusted the Congress can "focus on the spending side and ease the brunt of sequestration."
During the week she had to cast a vote against a bill to try to slow down the Republicans effort to pass the legislation that tells a President, that let the deficit grow to over a trillion in his first year instead of "cutting it in half," he can not leave a balanced budget out of reach when he submits his final 2014 fiscal year budget, and must submit a supplemental budget to tell the Congress the year the budget will be balanced, and the polices that will bring it into balance. Legislators at work on saving their local economies from spending cuts that damage the recovery job market prepare for the House session start on Tuesday the 12th.
Over 6 million jobs have been created in America in the last 35 months. But, San Diego could this time get deprived of funds that strengthen the workforce's foundation. Trust that Obama will not forget the money invested in the long term recovery in the southwestern city since the Recovery Act was proposed. Funding has to stay on order. He said this week, "while it’s critical for us to cut wasteful spending, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity."
This is an On The Watch Take.