White House: Sequestration could compromise food safety - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

White House: Sequestration could compromise food safety

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© "I think there will likely be some compromise in there, where it wouldn't be a complete shutdown. We may see some give and take," said Iowa State Assistant Professor Dr. Lee Schulz. © "I think there will likely be some compromise in there, where it wouldn't be a complete shutdown. We may see some give and take," said Iowa State Assistant Professor Dr. Lee Schulz.
SHELDON, Iowa (KTIV) -

In three days, $85 billion of automatic federal spending cuts take effect.

It's called "sequestration," a policy put in place two years ago to motivate Congress into cutting $4 trillion from the deficit.

So far it hasn't worked, and time is running out. As a penalty, this Friday cuts will be made to everything from education to safety and security.

Republicans demand Democrats target the billions in cuts to lessen their effect. An agitated Speaker of the House, John Boehner, says he sent the plan to Senate Democrats twice.

"We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something," said Boehner.

President Obama responded while visiting a Newport shipyard, Tuesday. He rejected the targeted cuts.

"There's no smart way to do that. You don't want to have to choose between 'uh, let's see do I close funding for the disabled kid or the poor kid?" said the president.

A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll says America is split over whether the president is unifying the nation in this manufactured crisis. But, 64% say Republicans are taking a partisan approach.

In Siouxland, some in the pork industry worry cuts could be bad for business.

A Monday report from the White House says U.S. food safety could be compromised if the budget is sequestered. The report says the FDA may conduct 2,100 fewer inspections at food manufacturers, and the USDA may have to furlough their inspectors for about two weeks.

The White House says the reduction might lead the public to suffer more food born illness.

"They got to leave the money there for food safety. That's for sure," said Brad Thompson.

Thompson works at pork processor SIG International. He's worried they'll have fewer inspectors, which would slow down their work, and in turn...

"Slows down the profits. We could have to shut the line down at points for them to go from kill floor to cut floor," said Thompson.

"There's too much inspection, too much regulation," said pig farmer, Keith Kooiker.

Kooiker says the automatic cuts don't go far enough. He thinks the nation could benefit from less oversight of the food industry and less spending in the budget.

"We're headed for a cliff ready to go off. If interest rates would go up any, the country couldn't afford that," said Kooiker.

The president has pushed Republicans to compromise on the budget before it's too late. While Republicans have said the cuts are manageable as long as they're targeted. The back and forth has economic experts in the ag-sector predicting cuts of some sort will be coming to food safety services.

"I think there will likely be some compromise in there, where it wouldn't be a complete shutdown. We may see some give and take," said Iowa State Assistant Professor Dr. Lee Schulz.

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