The sequestration cuts of around 9% are coming on March 1st, so get ready. These cuts will not be avoided. Painful furloughs for staff at the NNSA labs and layoffs of subcontractors will likely result:
Automatic cuts are getting a big yawn from Washington
Washington Post, Feb 15
deadlines go, the March 1 sequester lacks punch. Nobody’s taxes will go
up; the U.S. Treasury won’t run out of cash. Government offices won’t
immediately turn out the lights and lock the doors. No federal worker
will be furloughed for at least 30 days.
So Washington felt
little need to cancel the Presidents’ Day break. On Friday, President
Obama flew to Florida for a long weekend of golf. And Congress left town
for nine days, with scant hope of averting deep cuts to the Pentagon
and other agencies in the short time remaining when lawmakers return.
of negotiating, party leaders were busy issuing ultimatums and casting
blame. Before they left, Senate Democrats unveiled a bill to replace the
sequester in part with new taxes on millionaires, which Republicans
oppose. And House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed “the sequester
will be in effect until there are cuts and reforms that put us on a path
to balance the budget in the next 10 years,” an idea Democrats oppose.
the scenes, there was real concern that the cuts eventually would
disrupt critical government functions, hamper economic growth and
destroy 750,000 jobs. But for now, the sequester is amorphous and
slow-moving, and it has emerged as a convenient hill on which to plant a
flag and fight the next battle in the ongoing partisan conflict over
taxes and spending.
....“Here we are, March 1st. It is now
midnight. The clock has moved,” Mikulski intoned with a husky Baltimore
accent. “Can’t you paint for me the picture of how sequester is
triggered? Do all the lights go out in federal buildings?”
Well, no, said Daniel Werfel, controller at the White House budget office.
there will be “intense bargaining with unions” about furloughs. Word
will go out to federal contractors about contract modifications and
terminations. And “governors will be digesting information about how
their financial footprint will be impacted. The list goes on and on,” he
“And I think it could turn into a firestorm,” offered
Mikulski, whose state is home to roughly 300,000 confused and dispirited
While the Washington region is likely to be
hardest hit, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said the rest of the nation
will soon feel its share of pain if the sequester hits.
sequester would cut spending by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. It
was adopted during the 2011 debt-limit showdown and designed to be so
painful that neither party would ever let it take effect. During the
next seven months, it is slated to slice $85 billion out of agency
budgets — including $46 billion from the Pentagon — with the cuts
applied equally to every program and account, no matter how worthy.
social-safety net programs are exempt, and that feature has created
“strange bedfellows,” said Steve Bell, an analyst at the Bipartisan
Policy Center. In addition to the hard-right conservatives who want to
cut spending at any cost, Bell said, “now you have liberal Democrats
saying, ‘Okay, let them cut defense.’ ”....
www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy /automatic-cuts-are-getting-a-big-yawn-from -washington/2013/02/15/fe6c6700-7790 -11e2-95e4-6148e45d7adb_story.html
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