Scrambling to Forestall Sequestration

With sequestration scheduled to kick in on Friday, the White House and Senate are stepping up their efforts to prevent the cuts while the House is taking more of a wait and see approach.  The odds of a deal being reached and signed into law by Friday are increasingly remote, meaning that the cuts will likely go into effect at least in the short-term.

This week the Senate will take up a bill to replace the sequestration cuts scheduled for 2013 with other deficit reduction measures.  Such a plan would forestall the sequester for the coming year while buying Congress about 10 months to continue negotiating on an alternative to sequestration over the longer-term.  The Senate bill generates $110 billion in deficit reduction through defense and farm subsidy cuts and new revenue from imposition of the so-called “Buffet Rule” minimum tax on millionaires.  Republicans though have steadfastly rejected using new revenues to offset sequestration, and even if the bill were to clear the Senate it seems unlikely that it would find much support from House leaders.  Meanwhile the House continues to point to the sequestration replacement bill it passed twice last year as its preferred approach, though Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said that if the Senate passes a plan the House will try to work with them to find a solution.

Meanwhile President Obama has been barnstorming communities around the country warning about the impact the cuts will have while the White House also released state-specific reports on the human costs of sequestration.  Finally, CWLA has developed detailed charts breaking down the state-by-state financial impact the cuts will have on specific child welfare programs.  We will be covering these charts and providing a sequestration update on a conference call for CWLA members from 3-4pm EST this Wednesday, February 27th.  To RSVP please email Tim Briceland-Betts at bricebet@cwla.org.

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