Squeezed by sequester
The administration of President Barack Obama has outlined the possible impact in a range of day-to-day activities, from traveling at an airport to sending your child to school or Head Start, from the impending, so-called sequester cuts. The cuts stem from compromise legislation enacted in 2011 by the president and Republican leaders in Congress to allow the federal government to exceed the debt ceiling. Conservative activists have downplayed the dire possible effects of the sequester, saying the White House has exaggerated the impact for political reasons.
The sequester cuts were set up to automatically take effect as pressure on Congress and the president to come up with another way to cut federal spending. If no action is taken, the sequester cuts take effect starting Friday. Here’s some of the impact:
Airports such as Piedmont Triad International Airport would face possible flight delays because of furloughs of air traffic control workers and Transportation Security Administration screeners. The Federal Aviation Administration would have to cut more than $600 million nationwide, while the TSA would have to furlough 50,000 officers for up to seven days.
North Carolina would lose approximately $25.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 350 teacher and aide jobs at risk. Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,500 children in North Carolina, according to the White House.
The state would lose about $3.6 million in environmental funding that addresses clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, North Carolina could lose another $1.3 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection, the White House reports.
North Carolina would lose approximately $911,000 to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases and natural disasters. In addition, the state would lose about $2 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3,700 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs.