Senators sound increasingly pessimistic about avoiding the automatic budget cuts set to kick in Friday, predicting they’ll go forward absent an elusive deal on taxes, according to Market Watch.
“Until there’s some agreement on revenue I think we should go ahead with the sequester,” Senate Majority Leader, a Nevada Democrat, told reporters on Capitol Hill. Sen. , a Missouri Republican, told reporters: “The spending cuts are going to happen.”
With one day left until $85 billion in automatic spending cuts affect federal agencies, it's the final countdown in Washington. The US Congress has until this Thursday to act, or a series of automatic cuts will take effect March 1. Every state in the union will be affected, and the list of impacts to California will be devastating for jobs, education, children’s services, public health, seniors, vital public services and the military.
The following is a list of programs and services in California alone to be affected if Congress does not act.
Teachers and Schools: California will lose approximately $87.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 1,210 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 187,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 320 fewer schools would receive funding. Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, California will lose approximately $62.9 million in funds for about 760 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 9,600 fewer low income students in California would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 3,690 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 8,200 children in California, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: California would lose about $12.4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, California could lose another $1.9 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Military Readiness: In California, approximately 64,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $399.4 million in total.
--Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $54 million in California.
--Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in California would be cut by about $15 million.
--Navy: Maintenance and repair of 5 ships in San Diego and aircraft depot maintenance in North Island could be canceled.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: California will lose about $1.6 million 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.
Job Search Assistance to Help Those in California Find Employment and Training: California will lose about $3.3 million in funding for job search assistance, referral and placement, meaning around 129,770 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 2,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Vaccines for Children: In California around 15,810 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 $1.1 million.
Public Health: California will lose approximately $2.6 million 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. In addition, California will lose about $12.4 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 9,400 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the California State Department of Health Services will lose about $2 million resulting in around 49,300 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: California could lose up to $795,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 3,000 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: California would lose approximately $5.4 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.
This list is staggering and the losses speak for themselves. In a Pew Study 76 percent of Americans say that the president and Congress should focus on a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the budget deficit. Just 19 percent agree with the current Republican position that tax increases should be off the table.
Julian Zelizer professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and the author of “Jimmy Carter” and “Governing America,” says that if spending cuts go through as expected, Republicans will get the blame — and it could cost them seats in Congress, according to the Moderate Voice.