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North Country Business Weigh in on Sequestration

U.S. Capitol
Abir Anwar

The looming automatic federal budget cuts - or sequestration - will trickle down to all parts of the economy.  During a meeting on business confidence, northern New York officials predicted serious consequences for some economic sectors in the region.  They are also disappointed that Congress can’t, or won’t, work to find the 2-percent cuts in the federal budget.
Businesses in New York’s North Country not only have problems with the potential consequences of sequestration, they are livid that Congress has failed to act on the federal budget cuts. Primelink President and General Manager Greg MacConnell.

It’s unknown how much sequestration cuts could impact border staffing at the U.S.-Canadian crossing north of Plattsburgh.  The biggest impact in the northern tier of the state, according Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas, would be at the Army’s Fort Drum near Watertown.  Douglas says most business and local governments have made cuts greater than two percent in the past couple years, so he finds it puzzling that it’s so “catastrophic” for Congress.

City of Plattsburgh Mayor Don Kasprzak, a Republican, echoed the business community’s perspective.

The 85 billion dollars in automatic cuts will begin taking effect on Friday.  Although it is an overall two-percent cut, a large portion of the federal budget is exempt, including Social Security, Medicaid, and veterans' programs.  The White House said Wednesday that efforts to avoid sequestration are unlikely to succeed.

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