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Politics & Government

Doyle Predicts Sequester "Will Happen on Friday"

US House of Representatives

By the end of the week, the nation's spending plan could take a $85 billion dip.  The cuts, which have been dubbed "the sequester," could harm sectors including education and small business, according to U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA-14)  He said that's one reason why he voted against the measure last year.

"We believed it would start a whole string of bad behavior on the part of the Tea Party and unfortunately that's what's come to pass," Doyle said.  "Every three months we seem to face a crisis, the latest one now being March 1st when the sequester goes into place."

It's when, not if, the sequester will happen according the Pittsburgh area Congressman .  Doyle said its impractical to think a final solution can be reached by the end of the month, so the question is whether Congress can agree on a package that will give lawmakers more time to negotiate.

"[Republicans] want a cuts-only budget" Dole said.  "Well, that's just not going to fly in the Senate and the President won't sign such a budget."  

Doyle said the goal is to find middle ground between spending cuts and other means of deficit reduction, like closing tax loopholes.  He said the sequestration will not have any immediate impacts, but there will be long-term consequences for western Pennsylvania.

"One of the first things that fall victim to the budget acts when this happens is basic research, and basic research doesn't bear fruit next month, but down the road the monies we spend in researches (sic) are returned back to us 100-fold," Doyle said.  "Institutions like Pitt and Carnegie Mellon, institutions throughout Pennsylvania that are doing cutting-edge research, those budgets will cease to exist."

You can hear the complete interview with Congressman Doyle on WESA's Essential Pittsburgh.