Sequester Countdown and the Local Meals on Wheels Program - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Sequester Countdown and the Local Meals on Wheels Program

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(ABC) - The finger pointing continues in Washington, as major spending cuts are set to kick in in just a couple days. Both sides blame the other, but neither seems to be talking to the other to find a solution.

With that Friday deadline quickly approaching, the finger pointing has taken
an ugly turn in Washington.

"We should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their a** and does something," Speaker of the House John Boehner said.

"I'm from a town with six brothels, so I'm used to salty language," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "He should understand who's sitting on their posterior."

The standoff centers on $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that will go into effect on Friday unless Congress comes up with a better plan.

The cuts were passed to force Congress up against a wall; drastic and
massive in order to make lawmakers get serious about reducing spending -- but even that didn't work.

"Instead of cutting out the government spending we don't need, what the sequester
does is use a meat cleaver," said President Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, President Obama traveled to a shipyard in Virginia, which will be one of the states hit hardest by the Pentagon spending cuts. In the Newport News region, 59,000 plus civilian defense department workers would be furloughed. Statewide, that number would be about 90,000.

"Ripple effect on thousands of other jobs," Obama said.

But the effect won't be felt immediately. Any federal workers who will be furloughed must be notified at least a month in advance, which means there's always a chance that negotiations can be kick started in the coming weeks.

To save money in anticipation of the budget cuts, the Department of Homeland Security said it plans to release several hundred non-violent undocumented immigrants who are waiting behind bars for their court hearings.
 
CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - So what does that mean for folks around the Coastal Bend?

The impending cuts will affect 4,000 civilians working for the government here at our area bases, but another program funded by the state will see a big cut: Meals on Wheels.

The Meals on Wheels program delivers meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. In a report recently released by the White House, the state of Texas alone will lose $3.6 million that assists seniors.

Lisa Oliver with the Corpus Christi Senior Services Department said it is a harsh reality that a lot of folks could be facing.

"It's important also to note that the sequestering, come March 1, will not only impact the meal program, but it will affect the older worker program that benefits those individuals," Oliver said.

Oliver added that the reach will impact a lot of seniors if the across the board cuts go through.

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