The head of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), said on Tuesday that the sequester’s $85 billion slowdown in the rate of federal spending growth is hurting Boston’s ability to respond to Monday’s terrorist attack, which claimed at least three lives, injured 176, and resulted in over 25 Americans losing at least one leg.
“Chances are the mayor in Boston is now having to figure out how to cover for the extra costs involved in having so many people out there, for security, for emergency medical assistance,” said Becerra. “He’s probably now had to supplant money from some other part of his budget. Whether it’s community police, whether it’s a vaccine for kids provided through the city, they’ve got to pay for it.”
Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Joseph Crowley (D-NY) agreed.
“It’s important for Congress to understand that moneys that are sent for the purpose of homeland security need to be done on a judgment basis as to where the threat is highest,” Crowley said. “A city like New York, Los Angeles, Boston in this particular case, on Patriots’ Day, on one of the most watched marathons in the world… that the resources need to be there.”
The comments, which may be seen as an effort to use the terrorist attack to score political points on budgetary matters, place President Barack Obama in an uncomfortable political position.
“I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties,” said Obama after the terrorist attack, “and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats–we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.”