The Final Countdown: What You Need to Know About the Sequester
What’s the sequester? When is it happening? Why—and why does it matter? Our friends at theSkimm are here with the scoop. Read on for what you need to know, then hop over to theskimm.com to sign up for your daily dose of news.
Across-the-board spending cuts (the sequester) could really hurt the economy, and they’re set to kick in Friday—as in, this one. Washington is preparing by yelling at each other or just not speaking. Sounds about right.
Tell Me More, I Guess
So, in this episode of Girls, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner haven’t spoken in nearly a week, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Boehner have been estranged since January but have still traded many a jab. Boehner and his House GOP pals would replace the automatic cuts with more targeted ones as seen in two previously passed bills, while Senate Dems want a mix of cuts and tax increases (which Barry is fine with). Republicans like tax increases about as much as they like “four more years.”
Hold Up. What’s the Sequester Again?
Big time automatic spending cuts set to kick in March 1 that will hurt the economy and affect important government programs. You may be asking, “Who thought this was a good idea?” The sequester (stay awake!) is a product of a 2011 deal to raise the debt ceiling. A mixed group (meaning Blue and Red) was supposed to find a way to cut down the deficit. They didn’t. The motivation to get them to reach an agreement was the sequester—cuts so severe, no one would ever let them actually happen. But—surprise!—months later, here we are. Fun times.
But Let’s Talk Me
We get it, we’re selfish, too. Around $85 billion total is set to be cut from the military, FBI, SEC, and lots more by the end of the year. Budgets for school construction, snow removal, and small biz health subsidies will shrink. Flights may be super delayed. And layoffs galore, from teachers to the Pentagon, may happen. Don’t believe us? Ryan Gosling can explain it.
Ugh. Anything Else?
Federal immigration officials released hundreds of detained illegal immigrants to save money as the sequester looms. Creative. Have no fear, they’re non-criminals and low risk offenders.
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Photo of U.S. Capitol courtesy of Shutterstock.
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