A political deal struck in the summer of 2011 will begin to affect the economy Friday, unless feuding lawmakers in Washington can agree on a compromise.
The sequester will mandate significant cuts to the federal budget, with few if any government agencies immune to reductions in funding. Defense and domestic spending will be evenly slashed, and the impacts on local economies are far from clear.
Sacramento County has nearly 26,000 federal employees and retirees, according to Eye on Washington, and their fate could include furloughs or worse. Media reports include warnings on delays in air travel and tax refunds. The Federal Aviation Administration has already made plans to shut down air traffic control towers at Sacramento Executive Airport and terminate overnight air traffic control positions at Sacramento International if the budget cuts take effect. Civilians employed by the Department of Defense face the possibility of furloughs.
“The possibility exists for a 22-day furlough of Federal employees,” said Brian O’Rourke, spokesman for Navy Region Southwest.
To see which local businesses have defense contracts that will be affected by the cuts, search the Congressional District Reports at For the Common Defense.org.
In an opinion piece submitted to the Sacramento Bee, Elk Grove resident Congressman Ami Bera called upon the House of Representatives to stop automatic across-the-board spending cuts, detailing how millions of dollars could be lost to local municipalities like Sacramento County's Sheriff's Department.
"These haphazard cuts will impact everything from education and jobs in Sacramento County to our country's national security," said Bera.
Downloadable spreadsheets show the contract dollar amount, contractor business name, address and phone number, the contractor industry classification, and whether the business is a small or disadvantaged business, woman-owned, minority-owned or veteran-owned, according to the website.
The Obama administration released on Sunday a report for each state detailing the impacts of the sequester’s budget cuts, and Republicans have accused the president of using scare tactics for political gain.
The seven-page report for California paints a grim picture for education, environmental protections, the military, law enforcement, child care, public health and government services. The report is attached to this article in the PDF section.
The nation has been through this drill before. The sequester was set to begin on Jan. 1, 2013, if lawmakers weren’t able to reduce the budget deficit. That deadline came and went, but they were able to agree on postponing the sequester for two months. That time is running out.