Washington, D.C. — If Congress does not act to avert the massive across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to go into effect one week from today, damaging effects will be experienced in all corners of the country, according to a new state-by-state analysis released today by the Center for American Progress. The analysis demonstrates that the arbitrary cuts, formally known as the federal sequester, have the potential to drag our economy back into recession and hurt American families by slashing critical investments in job training, public health, and public safety.
“By rejecting measures to replace the sequester with a smarter, more balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenue, conservative members of Congress are posing a dangerous threat to our nation’s economy and middle-class families,” said Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress. “The way that our nation’s leaders address this manufactured financial crisis is emblematic of their priorities. There are two options: protect American families and ensure the strength of our economy, or protect millionaires and special-interest groups. It is time for congressional leaders to act responsibly and face the reality that new revenue from closing wasteful tax loopholes must be a part of the equation in addressing the deficit.”
Under the sequester, federal spending would be cut by $1.2 trillion from March 2013 to March 2021. States stand to lose billions of dollars in critical grants needed to fund everything from schools to new police officers to parks. In fiscal year 2013 alone, states stand to lose an estimated $6.4 billion in federal funding. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as many as 750,000 jobs could be lost because of the sequester. Taking a meat cleaver to spending in such a blunt, unfocused manner would send a shockwave through our economy and would hurt countless American families. Just months ago, Congress had seemingly found common ground with leading Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan saying that these cuts would “devastate” the country.
According to the new CAP report, a choice by conservatives in Congress to reject replacing the sequester with a smarter, more balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenues would have devastating consequences including:
- Kicking roughly 70,000 young children out of Head Start, a program that provides at-risk preschoolers with education, health, nutrition, and family-support services
- Leaving schools that serve more than 1 million disadvantaged students struggling to pay for teachers and tutors
- About 2,100 fewer food inspections across the nation because of cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service
- 450,000 fewer HIV screenings as a result of a more than $18 million cut to HIV prevention and testing programs
- Putting the brakes on advancements in medical research and causing more than 20,000 job losses by slashing more than $1 billion from the National Institutes of Health’s budget
- More than 830,000 fewer workers receiving support from Employment Services, which help connect workers looking for local employment opportunities
Women’s health and child care
- The program that provides low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women access breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic testing would be cut by more than $8 million, which could mean that 31,000 fewer women receive crucial cancer screenings
Read the full report, “The Impact of the Sequester on Communities Across America,” for data on the state-by-state consequences of inaction by Congress.
For a complete look at CAP’s sequestration analysis, click here.
Related resources from CAP:
- Sequestration May Do Little to Reduce the Deficit by Scott Lilly
- Infographic: Tax Loopholes for Corporate Jets or Investments in Jobs and Education? by Melissa Boteach
- 10 Ways the Sequester Will Expose Americans to Greater Health Risks and Other Perils by Daniel J. Weiss, Michael Conathan, and Jessica Goad
- Sequestration Threatens to Further Exacerbate Educational Disparities in America by Juliana Herman and Kaitlin Pennington
- Sequestration Is ‘Not a Game’ by Rudy deLeon
- Top 10 Reasons Why People of Color Should Care About Sequestration by Sophia Kerby
- Infographic: Children and Families with Disabilities Smacked by Sequester by Sarah Baron
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