Pelosi points out effect of sequester cuts


A month ago we reported on the $28 million that UCSF would lose if the sequester spending cuts went through on March 1. They did go through, but nothing has changed.

On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wanted to emphasis that point, stressing the impact of the cuts. Pelosi replaced her manta of "jobs, jobs, jobs," with another agenda, "science, science, science, and science."

Congressional Democrats have been trying to ignite public opposition to the sequester cuts and on Friday UCSF's vice chancellor Jeffrey Bluestone, Ph.D., ran though just some of what government funding to the university has made possible.

"It was here that we identified a vaccine that could prevent Hepatitis B and it was here that the first insulin gene was cloned," said Bluestone.

Pelosi says cutting even 5 percent from the research funding is reckless, but she adds it is what Republican leaders want rather than raising taxes on the wealthy.

"You have to remember that some people in Washington who support the sequester say it's a homerun," said Pelosi.

Pelosi's office put her name on a web video making it clear which people in Washington she's talking about.

"I got 98 percent of what I wanted," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, in the video.

With only a small number of views, this video is a long way from going viral. Democratic leaders have struggled in their effort to fire up public opinion over the sequester, especially when the economy seems to be on the way up. There were 48,000 new jobs added last month, just in construction.

"I saw a great increase in job activity from October on," said Glenn Filshie, a general contractor.

Asked if he thought the automatic government spending cuts will have an impact on the economy, Filshie says he's sure they will, but to what extent?

"It's tough to tell. You know, as long as people feel good they keep spending and it keeps rolling, so we'll see. We're just kind of holding on," said Filshie.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the sequester cuts will cost the economy 750,000 jobs, but that assumes there is no deal to lessen the impact

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