People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu February 7, 2013
Sequester Could Take Bite Out of Final Aid Payment To Oregon Timber Counties
The federal government’s across-the-board spending cuts could hit soon in western Oregon. Congressman Greg Walden says the feds plan to apply the so called sequester cut this week to a program for timber dependent counties. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.
18 Oregon counties are supposed to receive their last check from the Secure Rural Schools program this month. It’s sent millions of dollars to depressed Oregon timber counties.
Congressman Walden says he was shocked to learn the feds are cutting the last payment by ten percent.
Walden: “We’re pushing back, and pushing back hard, because the checks are about to be issued. And once they make a decision and issue the checks, the likelihood of getting them to come back and do what’s right is pretty thin.“
Walden voted for the sequester, a package of across the board spending cuts that take effect in March. But he says it shouldn’t apply to the secure rural schools program, because it was part of last year’s budget. The Department of Interior runs the program and did not respond to requests for comment.
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