Impending sequestration ignites local tensions - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Impending sequestration ignites local tensions

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- As we see the blame game playing out in Washington, local representatives are also begining to take part in the stand-off.

Democratic congressman Paul Tonko says Republicans should have allowed more opportunity for a scalpel approach to the $16 trillion national debt instead of wielding a cleaver at it.

He calls the sequestration a mindless, thoughtless exercise when the approach should be academic.

"Our plan, introduced by the democrats in the house, not only provides a balanced approach, but it cuts into the deficit more than the sequestration exercise would," said Tonko.

Tonko went on further to describe his displeasure with Republicans allowing an $85 billion spending "wrecking ball" to swing.

"It's the wrecking of the economic comeback here simple by the tone that is established by the perception that is developed," said Tonko.

Meanwhile Republican congressman Chris Gibson says he's disappointed with President Obama's lack of leadership and says he's spoken with members on both sides of the aisle and he feels a bipartisan solution is still possible.

In a statement he wrote:

"It is my belief that we can solve sequestration and the upcoming fiscal crises over federal spending and the debt ceiling through a comprehensive, bipartisan solution that sets our country on a sustainable 10-year path.  This week, I met with a number of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to discuss this idea, and found there to be support regardless of party affiliation.  These continued fiscal crises are good for no one, and we can do better.  I have been disappointed with the President's failure to lead in these discussions, and it is my hope the President calls for both parties to use his own deficit reduction commission as a starting point for a long-term agreement that includes fiscally responsible spending and structural changes, comprehensive tax reform, and policies that will grow our economy."

The sequestration goes into effect at midnight and some furloughs and cuts will happen immediately, while other program cuts will take longer.

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