Sequestration 2013: White House details automatic budget cuts in Virginia, D.C., Maryland
(AP/ABC7) - The White House released lists for each state on Sunday of potential effects of automatic spending cuts set for Friday.
The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March-September.
As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.
But a chorus of critics are accusing government officials of exaggerating the impact of the budget cuts.
"We're going to find out that, guess what? The world doesn't end," said Dan Mitchell with the DC-based Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "All the hysteria, all the chicken little rhetoric in Washington is grotesquely exaggerated."
Mitchell says instead of looking for cuts that few would be concerned about, government officials are purposely looking for cuts they can announce to scare people.
He cites predictions by the Department of Transportation that sequestration could lead to plane delays of up to 90 minutes during peak flying hours in major cities.
"Just get rid of some of these fat cat air traffic consulting contracts that you have,” said Mitchell. “And you could leave air travel completely unaffected for the ordinary public."
- Military: About 90,000 civilian Department of Defense employees in Virginia would be furloughed. Funding for Army base operations would be cut by about $146 million. Air Force operations funding would be cut by about $8 million. Maintenance of 11 Navy ships in Norfolk would be canceled and four projects at Norfolk, Dahlgren and Oceana would be deferred. Other modernization and demolition projects would be delayed.
- Teachers and schools: Virginia would lose about $14 million in funding for primary and secondary schools. About 190 teacher and aide jobs would be at risk. Virginia also would lose about $13.9 million in funding for about 170 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Public health: Virginia would lose about $2.1 million in funding to help prevent and treat substance abuse. The state also would lose about $764,000 in funding to help improve its response to infectious diseases, natural disasters, and other public health threats. A $337,000 cut in funding for the Virginia State Department of Health would reduce the number of HIV tests by around 8,400. Virginia also would lose about $241,000 for vaccinations for children, including measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B.
- Environment: Virginia would lose nearly $3 million in funding for clean water, air quality and prevention of pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. The state also would lose $826,000 for fish and wildlife protection.
- Head Start: About 1,000 children in Virginia would lose Head Start and Early Head Start services.
- Work-study: Aid would be provided to around 2,120 fewer low income students in Virginia to help them finance the costs of college. Funding for work-study jobs would go to around 840 fewer students.
- Law enforcement and public safety: Virginia would lose about $276,000 in grants for law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
- Job search assistance: Virginia would lose about $348,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement. About 18,390 people would be affected.
- Domestic violence: Virginia could lose up to $172,000 in funding for services to victims of domestic violence.
- Seniors: Virginia would lose about $1.2 million in funding to provide meals for seniors.
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