On Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, the panel examined some of the harsher effects of the sequester and its effect on low-income families and the elderly.
Alex noted that Congress acted at lightning speed last week to pass a bill relieving FAA congestion at the nation’s airports in time for lawmakers to leave Washington before this week’s congressional recess. Meanwhile, other victims of the sequester with less political clout see no relief in sight.
Many of the 4.6 million Americans on long-term unemployment have started to see their checks slashed by up to 11%, 70,000 kids are being thrown off Head Start, seniors are seeing reductions in Meals on Wheels programs, and according to the White House, 600,000 women and children will no longer have access to the Department of Agriculture’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
At his news conference Tuesday morning, President Obama said the sequester had “slowed our growth, it’s resulting in people being thrown out of work and it’s hurting folks all across the country,” while chiding lawmakers for fixing portions of the bill convenient to them.
The panel debated whether a big budget deal could be done to avert the sequester and whether the Obama administration shared some of the blame for the cuts in services to low-income Americans.
“The idea was that pain was supposed to be shared among everybody, that way no one would want to do it, but it turns out Congress does actually work when they’re saving the affluent, the rich and those who are able to make their voices heard, ” said Grio.com managing editor Joy Reid. “They’re fine with the sequester hitting the low-income people.”