A C-130 sits inside a hangar at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
NIAGARA FALLS, NY - On Tuesday, Congressman Brian Higgins (D-26th District) told his colleagues in Washington about the impact sequester cuts will have on the air base in Niagara Falls.
Sequestration refers to the automatic spending cuts that could take effect Friday March 1st, if lawmakers cannot agree on a debt reduction package. Higgins specifically referred to a $6.1 million flight simulator planned for the base when speaking on the house floor.
"Mr. Speaker, Sequestration will have serious consequences for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, which is tremendously important to the economy of Western New York.
If Congress does not repeal the sequester, the Air Force will delay the construction of a $6.1 million flight simulator at the base, a project that is crucial to securing the base's continued operation.
There would also be an impact on jobs. Twenty-three hundred Air Force civilians in New York will be furloughed, causing $17.7 million in lost wages across the state.
Mr. Speaker, sequestration was the ransom the Tea Party demanded when it held the American economy hostage over the debt limit. But with 750,000 American jobs at stake, this process will inflict real and permanent damage on the American economy.
Congress created the sequester. Congress can and should repeal it.
For the Niagara Falls Air Reserve base and for the American economy, I urge the House to do just that."
But given the fact that sequester cuts haven't happened yet, our Dave McKinley asked Higgins by phone if this is a real cut or if this is a scare tactic to try to force hands in Washington.
Higgins maintained the cuts are real and that the simulator project at the base has been cancelled.