What is Sequestration?
Severe, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to government programs.
About half of the cuts are to the Department of Defense, and the rest are to non-defense programs. Many programs are protected from the sequester and will not be cut.
The cuts were supposed to begin in January, but Congress passed a two-month delay, so now they are scheduled to begin on March 1.
The debt ceiling debate in the summer of 2011 was a near-catastrophe for our country because we almost went into default for essentially refusing to pay the bill for items we’d already bought.
Yes, but the sequester is like a lawnmower that cuts both your grass and your garden. We need thoughtful spending cuts. These are ugly, indiscriminate cuts that no one wants.
The Department of Defense is set to receive about half of the cuts - $460 billion.
Cooper recently criticized Congress' inaction in a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.
What military leaders have said…
"Cuts of this magnitude would be catastrophic to the military”
“Sequestration will cause irreversible damage."
- Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval operations
2. Everything else:
Other programs will be cut by $460 billion over 10 years. Most mandatory programs, such as Social Security benefits, Medicaid, and food stamps are protected from the sequester. Spending on highways, Pell grants, and most veterans programs will also be spared from the cut. But dozens of other programs will face ugly cuts, things like NIH funding (on which Vanderbilt researchers rely), funding for the Centers for Disease Control (to help fight the flu), our national parks, important environmental health and safety programs, our airport traffic controllers, funding for our children’s schools, and countless other programs. Read more for examples.
Will we feel the impact in Tennessee?
More than forty percent of the State of Tennessee’s funding is federal. Federal money is used for our schools, agriculture, roads, law enforcement and many other vital programs. Many Tennessee programs that rely on federal dollars are protected from the sequester, but state and local officials have already begun preparing for the cuts to appropriate programs.
What will be affected?
Tennessee is scheduled to lose more than $47 million in education money including $27 million in Title 1 and IDEA initiatives. Over 200 teacher and aide jobs will be at risk. Over 32,000 fewer students would be served and approximinately 60 fewer schools would receive funding.
Tennessee will receive $249 million in cuts to Department of Defense programs in our state. These programs include wages for employees, grants, and operating expenses for defense facilities. Over 7,200 civilian employees will be furloughed.
2,590 fewer children will receive access to vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B. Head Start and Early Head Start will be eliminated for approximinately 1,200 children. Up to 800 disadvantaged children could lose child care. Victims of domestic violence - up to 500 from Tennessee - would lose support from lost funds to the Violence Against Women Program.
We will see $24 million in cuts to projects such as cancer and diabetes research at Tennessee facilities. This could cost jobs at universities and medical centers, and limit growth of research opportunities.
Army Corps of Engineers
The Corps is closing recreation areas and sites in more than 230 locations including some in Tennessee.
Major user facilities and construction at national labs will be shut down, including at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Maritime and Border Security, Law Enforcement, and First Responders
Air Traffic Control
USDA would furlough federal meat and poultry inspectors for weeks. Since plants cannot operate without inspectors, thousands of establishments would be forced to shut down or operate fewer hours—costing the industry, grocery stores and restaurants billions of dollars.
Food and Medical Product Safety
Funding would be cut for disease monitoring and responding to outbreaks.
Cuts to Mental Health
Why Spending Cuts Alone Won’t Fix the Deficit
Why Taxing the Wealthy Can’t Fix the Deficit
NPR: Will economic contraction affect debate over sequester?
Associated Press: Get ready for slew of budget cut warnings
CNN Money: Spending cuts: What you need to know