Sequester to causes major cuts to federal and state departments

Recently, a sequester passed in Congress which will negatively impact U.S. students and workers. The sequester is part of the Budget Control Act that will cut $1.2 trillion in spending starting this year. A sequester is a budget cut across the board; every division of government gets their budget cut by a certain percentage.

One of the biggest budget cuts will be a cut from a five-day work week to a four-day work week for some federal employees. Furlough letters have already been sent out to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Gunpowder and Corps of Engineers employees saying they will stay home one day per week, either Monday or Friday, without pay, starting on April 22 and ending on Sept. 21, according to CNN.

This time, Congress did not agree on an alternate budget agreement, so the sequester automatically passed and cuts are going into effect over the next several months.

According to the New York Times the sequester was never supposed to pass; it was designed to make such drastic cuts that neither party would like it, so they would be more willing to come up with a better budget plan.

Nationwide, nondefense programs will be cut by nine percent, and defense programs will be cut by 13 percent.

Washington State will lose $11.6 million in funds for primary and secondary education. Washington will also lose approximately $3 million in environmental funding, which includes pollution prevention, and clean air and water measures.

Justice Assistance Grants, which support law enforcement, crime prevention, as well as several other law and crime related activities, will be cut by $271,000.

Public health, which includes disease prevention and preparation for natural or man-caused disasters, will be cut by $642,000.

Nationally, major cuts include education, small business assistance, food safety, research, and mental health. What exactly is cut from each department is up to the department itself.

The FBI and other law enforcement will see cuts of 1,000 federal agents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with the Transportation Security Administration, will have to lay off many of their employees, which will cause an increase in waiting time at major airports. Peak wait times could hit four to five hours.

The Federal Aviation Administration will also be making cuts, which could close down smaller airports or reduce the amount of flights they have. Delays in examination of our imports could also happen due to the Customs and Border Protection cuts, which could raise trading costs.