Gray: Federal Cuts Would Be Felt Deeply In D.C.

Automatic budget cuts scheduled for 2013

By Patrick Madden - WAMU 88.5
|  Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011  |  Updated 9:49 PM EDT
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Federal Cuts Would Be Felt Deeply in D.C.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mayor Vincent Gray

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The Super Committee’s failure to reach a deal could have a devastating impact on D.C.’s economy, Mayor Vincent Gray said.

For years, the District rode the wave of increased government spending, helping the city earn a reputation as recession-proof. The deficit panel’s inability to broker a deal sets in motion an automatic $1.2 trillion spending cut -- a slash that Mayor Gray says will hit D.C. hard.

"We have so many jobs in the District that are dependent on the federal budget, so its likely to have a material impact on the availability of that," Gray said.

The automatic budget cuts do not kick in until 2013 -- giving Congress time to come up with an alternative solution. Regardless of the path federal lawmakers take, it looks as though federal government spending will be reined in. That could affect District residents in other ways, Gray said.

"When you look at domestic programs, you know that Medicaid has got to be one of those which [the cuts] will have a major impact on... One in every three residents is a Medicaid recipient.”

Gray said he hopes to have a better assessment in the coming weeks of what the cuts could mean for D.C.

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