We’ve been hearing about the impact of the potential federal cuts, the so-called “sequester” for weeks. Now the White House has listed a state-by-state breakdown of how we’d be impacted by the $85 billion in cuts that will kick in if Congress doesn’t act.
Here is what it says will be cut this year alone in Washington state:
Teachers and Schools
Washington will lose approximately $11,606,000 in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 11,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 50 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Washington will lose approximately $11,251,000 in funds for about 140 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Child Care: Up to 800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 440 fewer low income students in Washington would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 180 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,000 children in Washington
Washington would lose about $3,301,000 in
environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.
In addition, Washington could lose another $924,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Approximately 29,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $173.4 million.
Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $124 million.
Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations would be cut by about $3 million.
Navy: Cancel aircraft depot maintenance at Whidbey Island, a demolition project in Bremerton.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety
Washington will lose about $271,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
Public Assistance and Health
Washington will lose about $661,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement.
Vaccines for Children: Around 2,850 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $195,000.
Washington will lose approximately $642,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.
Washington will lose about $1,740,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3800 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs.
The Washington State Department of Health will lose about $174,000 resulting in around 4,300 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: Washington could lose up to $143,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Washington would lose approximately $1,053,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
The statement from the White House briefly explains what it considers to be the problem in Congress with budget negotiations:
“Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe. By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children,
seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction.
The President is determined to cut spending and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, but he won’t stick the middle class with the bill. The President is willing to compromise, but on behalf the middle class he cannot accept a deal that undercuts their economic security.”
Republicans say Mr. Obama deserves his share of the blame for the budget problems and Republican Senator John McCain calling on President Obama to convene a summit meeting to work out an agreement.
“I won’t put all the blame on the president of the United States, but the president leads,” says McCain. “The president should be calling us over somewhere — Camp David, the White House, somewhere — and sitting us down and trying to avert these cuts.”
By LINDA THOMAS