City Officials Warn Of Consequences If Federal Government Goes Over ‘Fiscal Cliff’

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Hall is predicting grim repercussions from the federal budget impasse, if the scenario known as going over the ‘fiscal cliff’ plays out, at the end of the year.

The Director of Federal Legislative Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, Terry Gillen defines the technical federal budget term ‘sequestration.’

“It means basically across-the-board cuts.”

That’s if Washington — including Congress and the President, after the November elections but before January — fail to compromise.

“You can balance your budget two ways, by making lots of cuts or you can add revenues.”

Much also depends on whether President Obama or Governor Romney prevails, and whether Republicans take the Senate or lose seats in the House.

“Governor Romney has said when he was asked ‘would you take 90% cuts and 10% revenues? And he said no.’ They are really opposed to revenues.”

Gillen says potential sequester cuts include the loss of more than $3 million for the Head Start program for pre-school kids, a nearly $0.5 million cut to the Community Services Block Grant program, and a nearly quarter-million-dollar reduction to the Foreclosure Prevention program in Philadelphia.

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