EDUCATION/HOUSING: Murray Highlights Impacts of Sequester on Washington Schools and Housing Across the Nation

Feb 14 2013

Murray questions Sec. of Education, Sec. of Housing and Urban Development on impacts of automatic cuts if Congress fails to avoid sequester

WATCH the hearing (Sen. Murray begins her questions at 01:36:36).

Read the full transcript of the exchange.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Department of Education, and Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, about the potential impacts of cuts to education and housing in the looming sequester.  Senator Murray is working to replace the sequester with a balanced approach that avoids these damaging cuts.

Senator Murray told Secretary Duncan about her constituents in the Yakima School District, where sequestration would cut $1.6 million from their budget, in a district that has a free and reduced price lunch rate of 83 percent. She also discussed concerns about districts like Central Kitsap and Clover Park, which serve the children of servicemembers stationed at Naval Base Kitsap and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Murray asked Secretary Duncan how districts like these would cope in already difficult economic times if sequestration went into effect. 

Senator Murray also questioned Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, on the effect of job losses on housing and the economy.  Senator Murray outlined the consequences of sequestration cuts on HUD programs, saying that over 200,000 families could be at risk of losing their housing.  Senator Murray asked Secretary Donovan to highlight some of the other ways sequestration would impact the housing market, and the possible spillover effect these problems could have on local economies.

See letters from the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education highlighting the impacts of sequestration.