Friday, March 1, 2013

13 Federal Agencies the Obama Administration Says the Sequester Will Destroy

The Obama administration has repeatedly warned that the sequester must be avoided. While lawmakers of both parties would like to find a way out, conservative Republicans have said they’re willing to live with the reductions to future spending.
Fox News’ Brainroom compiled a list of the Obama administration claims about how the sequester will affect federal agencies:

1. Defense: The Navy has delayed the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, leaving only one in the region.
  • The Navy also has delayed the construction of one carrier and the overhaul of another.
  • The Navy’s top officer, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told Congress that because of the sequester and already planned long-range reductions, the Navy could not fully support counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen.
  • Seventy percent of ship maintenance in private shipyards and all aircraft maintenance for the latter of half of this fiscal year would be canceled, which amounts to 25 ships and 327 aircraft.
  • All ship and aircraft deployments to Africa have been canceled, along with the cancellation of five of six ship deployments to South America.
  • Flight hours would be reduced across the board.
  • The Army would have to curtail training for 80 percent of its ground forces, implement a hiring freeze, and lay off 3,100 temporary and term employees.
  • Army base maintenance funds would be cut by 70 percent, while the Air Force would see a 30 percent cut in weapons-maintenance funds.
  • In the next fiscal year, 100,000 fewer soldiers would serve in the Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve.
  • More than 50 percent of Marine tactical units would be below minimum readiness levels.
  • There would probably be a freeze in hiring civilians, instead of the 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs monthly.
  • Current civilian workers could be furloughed up to 22 days.
  • The military’s Tricare health care system could lose $3 billion, threatening elective care for some military dependents and retirees.
2. Homeland Security: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wrote to Congress that there will be fewer border agents and fewer facilities for detained illegal immigrants.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees could get furloughed for 12 to 14 days, which could lead to increased waiting times for border crossings and cause flight delays.
  • 5,000 border patrol agents and 2,750 customs officers would be cut.
  • There would be reduced Coast Guard air and sea operations, furloughed Secret Service agents and weakened efforts to detect cyberthreats to computer networks.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund would lose more than $1 billion.
3. Education: Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Congress that 70,000 Head Start pupils would be removed from the pre-kindergarten program, about 1 of every 13.
  • Sec. Duncan claims that could lead to the layoffs of 14,000 teachers, teacher assistants, and staff who work in the Head Start program.
  • Cuts for programs for handicapped and other special needs students would threaten 7,200 teachers and aides, Duncan said.
4. Health: The National Institutes of Health would lose $1.6 billion, trimming research on cancer, drying up money for hundreds of other research projects and eliminating up 20,000 private research positions nationwide.
  • 109,000 fewer people in need of critical treatment might not get admitted to inpatient facilities.
  • Health departments would give 424,000 fewer tests for the AIDS virus this year.
  • More than 373,000 seriously ill people may not receive needed mental health services.
  • 91,000 fewer people would receive substance-abuse treatment.
  • 30,000 children would go without child-care services.
  • 4 million fewer meals would get delivered to seniors’ homes.
  • 540,000 fewer doses of vaccines would be available for the flu, hepatitis, and measles, among other diseases.
5. Transportation: The Federal Aviation Administration plans to furlough most of its 47,000 employees, including air traffic controllers, for an average of 11 days, with most furloughs probably over the summer.
  • Furloughs could result in longer delays, reduced air-traffic control, and losses in tourism. There will also be a hiring freeze.
  • Transportation Security Administration screeners would receive a seven-day furlough.
6. Environment: Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency would jeopardize its ability to protect the public from oil spills, air pollution and hazardous waste, according a letter from Bob Perciasepe, interim head of the agency.
  • States would have to shut down some pollution monitors that determine if air is healthy to breathe.
  • The popular color-coded air quality forecasting system that keeps schoolchildren and others inside on bad-air days would be curtailed or eliminated.
  • New models of cars and trucks could be delayed from getting to dealership lots because the EPA couldn’t quickly validate that they meet emissions standards.
7. Internal Revenue Service: A Treasury Department letter to Congress said the IRS would review fewer tax returns, which “could result in billions of dollars in lost revenue.”
8. Agriculture: The Agriculture Department says meat inspectors could be furloughed up to 15 days, shutting meatpacking plants intermittently and costing up to $10 billion in production losses and $400 million in lost wages.
  • The Food and Drug Administration would conduct 2,100 fewer food facility inspections this year.
  • About 600,000 low-income pregnant women and new mothers would lose food aid and nutrition education.
9. FBI: FBI Director Robert Mueller wrote to Congress that sequestration would be the equivalent of cutting 2,285 employees, including 775 agents, through furloughs and a hiring freeze. Every FBI employee would be furloughed for 14 workdays.
10. Interior Department: The department says it is preparing to reduce hours and services at all 398 national parks and might close up to 128 wildlife refuges.
  • As much as $200 million in direct payments to states, mainly the West, could be eliminated. The cuts could force local governments to cut back on police and fire protection, schools, road maintenance and more.
  • The NPS will cut park hours and visitor services in some of the nation’s leading national parks—from Yosemite to the Great Smokey Mountains.
11. Labor: More than 3.8 million people jobless for six months or longer could see their unemployment benefits reduced by as much as 9.4 percent.
  • Thousands of veterans would not receive job counseling. Fewer Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors could mean 1,200 fewer inspections of dangerous work sites.
  • There would be fewer investigations into complaints workers are being denied minimum wage and overtime pay.
  • About 1 million fewer people would get help finding or preparing for new jobs.
12. NASA: Nearly $900 million in cuts would come from programs including money to help private companies build crew capsules to eventually send astronauts to the International Space Station, and to test new technologies for sending astronauts into deep space.
13. Housing: The Department of Housing and Urban Development said about 125,000 households could lose benefits from the agency’s Housing Choice Voucher program and risk becoming homeless.

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