In a speech that lauded Westchester's medical research industry—and slammed the looming cuts it is facing—congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) sounded off at New York Medical College in Valhalla Tuesday morning, assailing both the federal sequester and her colleagues across the aisle.
The longtime House Democrat noted the recent, sprawling federal budget cuts known as the sequester will deeply affect the region's biomedical research, slashing jobs, growth and grants.
"From large research institutions to fast-growing, innovative biotech companies, the Lower Hudson Valley is a leader in biomedical research, and each dollar invested in biomedical research here generates two dollars of economic activity," Lowey said.
But sequestration could axe 70,000 biomedical jobs in New York State alone, Lowey noted, citing numbers from the independent analysis group Third Way. The cuts would also deprive the Westchester and Rockland biomedical research industry of about $1.3 million in funding, Lowey noted.
"These senseless budget cuts will put the brakes on one of our region's economic engines," she added.
Dr. Alan Kadish, the president of New York Medical College, flanked Lowey and delved into the details of what research could be harmed by the sequester.
"We work to prevent the flu and treat kidney failure," he said. Kadish noted the local biomedical industry also labors to combat Lyme's disease and cancer, and works alongside fertility patients.
"All of [this] will be negatively impacted by across-the-board sequestration," he added.
Lowey also touched on other local environments affected by the sequester, like early childhood education programs up-and-down Westchester, and aimed blame at House Republicans.
"They operate crisis to crisis," she said.
The federal sequester seeks to shave about $85 billion in 2013 spending.