Advocates, lawmakers and local officials are speaking out against the impending sequestration cuts that would affect a range of non-defense discretionary programs in 2013.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) requires the administration to sequester FY13 discretionary funds, which means making across-the-board cuts to achieve a $1.2 trillion reduction in the deficit over a 10-year period beginning January 2, 2013.
Until recently, there has been less attention paid by lawmakers to the cuts that would be made to non-defense discretionary programs than to the cuts that would be made to defense programs.
Mayors from across the country have started to speak out about how the cuts would affect their cities, citing programs serving low-income households as well as basic infrastructure programs.
Meanwhile, Members of the Senate continue to craft deficit reduction plans as an alternative to sequestration. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) is working on a sequestration replacement plan that would require a down payment of $75 billion in cuts and a six-month delay for further cuts.
The group of Senators known as the “Gang of Eight” has not revealed the plan they are crafting, but news reports say it will be more of a framework than a detailed plan. These plans are not expected to be shared publicly or considered until after the November elections.