(MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – Massachusetts stands to lost hundreds of millions of dollars if lawmakers can't come together and reach a deal.
Gov. Deval Patrick is back from Washington, D.C. where he and members of the National Governor's Association met with Pres. Barack Obama Monday morning. The Democrat and ally of Pres. Obama said there was little hope of heading off the automatic spending cuts, scheduled to take effect on Friday.
"There is very little confidence in Washington that there will be a deal before the end of the week," Patrick said, while adding: "Hope springs eternal."
Gov. Patrick says if the cuts go through the Republicans are to blame. He says GOP leaders, including Speaker John Boehner, have failed to schedule a vote on Pres. Obama's plan to raise revenue by closing some tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations.
"This is a failure of the Republican House because the Republican speaker, I believe, has the votes for a deal that's balanced, that reflects the view of an overwhelming majority of the American people. But he's (Boehner) got one plan on the table ... and it's the president's and he has not brought it to the floor," Patrick said.
If no deal is reached, $85 million in spending cuts will go into effect on March 1.
Gov. Patrick estimated an impact of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in Massachusetts alone. He said school special education programs, Title I grants, defense contractors, research grants to universities and medical centers all stand to lose.
The governor did not have exact figures, only general projections.
When asked if he thought both Democrats and Republicans should sit with Pres. Obama in Washington to get the job done, Gov. Patrick replied, "You know I'm not there. But the impression I'm left with is that the President has made personal phone calls, not just sent members of his senior team up, but put his proposal in writing before the Congress. It takes two to tango here. It takes more than one party here."
Gov. Patrick denied any criticism that this was all just a "scare tactic."
Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor said he didn't believe the state-by-state analysis released by the White House Sunday night represented "scare tactics," as some Republican lawmakers have charged.
He said agencies would begin drawing up contingency plans once there is more information from the federal government.
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