Democrats blame GOP for Sandy aid cuts

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, joined counterparts from New York and New Jersey Friday in blaming Republicans for across-the-board spending cuts that will trim Hurricane Sandy disaster aid.

In the process called sequestration, cuts to most federal programs, with the exception of transportation funding, Medicare, Social Security and a few others, went into effect last week because Congress failed to agree on another way to reduce the budget.

In a conference call hosted by the Connecticut Democratic Party, DeLauro said a $63 billion package of aid to Sandy-hit states will be subject to a 5 percent cut, hurting local and state governments seeking federal help.

“It is all going to be negatively impacted,” DeLauro said. “These cuts are a disaster.”

Congressional Republicans rejected deficit-shrinking proposals put forth by President Obama and congressional Democrats because they would raise taxes on the wealthy.

Now Democrats hope the public will blame the GOP for any adverse effects of the cuts, which they say Republicans don’t care about.

“I listen to the Republican leadership, and they are like ‘this doesn’t matter,'” said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.