Budget sequester will mean cuts to Sandy aid

Budget sequester will mean cuts to Sandy aid

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The sequester effects all of us and that means we will see changes.  

"We're just in a position right now – it's not a good position. We feel like we're in a sinkhole where we're never gonna get out of."    

Nicole Chati's post Sandy recovery continues to be frustrating. With the federal budget reductions known as the "sequester" now in effect it will mean cuts in funds allocated for Superstorm Sandy aid. An amount estimated around $3 billion. 

"When the banks needed a bailout, our taxes were raised. When the auto industry needed a bailout, out taxes were raised – we had no problem. Now we need a bailout, we're the people of the United States of America and we need a bailout," said Chati, a Sandy Victim.   

Washington's failure to prevent the sequester will have wide-ranging implications. Expect delays at airports as pink slips will be given to thousands of workers -- such as TSA screeners and air traffic controllers. 

The across the board federal reductions will also impact funds for the Zadroga Health Care Act -- monies for first responders who became ill after 9/11. 

It's that cut that hurts retired NY Waterways Fire Captain Michael McPhillips the most. 

"We worked for nine years to get this done. We went to Washington, D.C so many times and guys with oxygen tanks are so ill and they still went and they fought and now it's being taken back from them. I've had guys calling up crying over this," said Capt. McPhillips.

At a news conference Saturday afternoon for Sandy victims on Staten Island, Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY) said there are several other areas for the federal government to trim its budget fat. 

"We have underused and vacant federal land, that's costing us a year -- $1.7 billion, that's a lot of money. We can cut that right there – that's a waste that needs to be cut," said Rep. Grimm.   

Active military personnel and programs for anti-poverty and low income assistance – they are largely protected from the sequester. But for those areas where there's going to be an impact, it will likely be several weeks before that will actually start to show.

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