Monthly Archives: September 2012

From the Government Executive: ” Poll: Are you ready for sequestration?”

By Kellie Lunney, Gov. Exec.
September 25, 2012

There’s been plenty of public hand-wringing in Washington lately about the disastrous effects of sequestration. In fact, sequestration has gotten so much play that we can use the word in headlines now. The automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that will hit every federal agency (except the Veterans Affairs Department) will take effect Jan. 2, 2013, unless lawmakers block them. Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget has been scant, mostly because everyone wants to believe Thelma and Louise won’t drive off the cliff this time. Still, agencies across government likely will have to furlough employees to comply with the spending cuts, which amount to a whopping 9.4 percent in nonexempt defense discretionary funding and 8.2 percent in nonexempt nondefense discretionary funding in fiscal 2013. With Congress in recess until mid-November, the clock is ticking. So, what’s your agency doing about it? Take our poll here and email klunney@govexec.com with additional information about sequestration planning (or lack thereof) at your agency.

(The poll is not activated on this website. To take the poll, click here.)

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BALANCE THE BUDGET? SEQUESTRATION IS NOT THE ANSWER

AFGE HUD  Council Vice President Carolyn Federoff discusses with Campaign for America’s Future’s Isaiah Poole the  REAL  impact that federal budget cuts to reduce the deficit would have on Americans and public services.

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WHITE HOUSE REPORT DETAILS IMPACT OF SEQUESTRATION

The White House today issued a 400-page report, required by Congress, that details the devastating effects of sequestration on federal programs and services.

According to the report, sequestration would result in a 9.4 percent cut in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding. The sequestration would also impose cuts of 2.0 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt nondefense mandatory programs, and 10.0 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs.

As the report makes clear, “sequestration would have a devastating impact on important defense and nondefense programs.

While the Department of Defense would be able to shift funds to ensure war fighting and critical military readiness capabilities were not degraded, sequestration would result in a reduction in readiness of many non-deployed units, delays in investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs, declines in military research and development efforts, and reductions in base services for military families.

On the nondefense side, sequestration would undermine investments vital to economic growth, threaten the safety and security of the American people, and cause severe harm to programs that benefit the middle-class, seniors, and children. Education grants to States and local school districts supporting smaller classes, afterschool programs, and children with disabilities would suffer. The number of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents, correctional officers, and federal prosecutors would be slashed. The Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to oversee and manage the Nation’s airspace and air traffic control would be reduced. The Department of Agriculture’s efforts to inspect food processing plants and prevent foodborne illnesses would be curtailed. The Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe would be degraded. The National Institutes of Health would have to halt or curtail scientific research, including needed research into cancer and childhood diseases. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to respond to incidents of terrorism and other catastrophic events would be undermined. And critical housing programs and food assistance for low-income families would be cut.

AFGE has called on Congress to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of earners, which would generate $1 trillion in new revenue and allow these detrimental across-the-board cuts to be avoided.

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