Countdown To Sequestration

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Many agree that across-the-board budget cuts will hurt the public. The automatic, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration will take effect March 1 unless Congress acts to prevent them. These reductions are designed to save $85 billion through the end of this fiscal year.

To get there, agency budgets would be reduced by 9 percent, except for the US Defense Department’s, which would take a 13 percent hit. The sequester would lead to pay-less days for federal workers, so is legislation that would extend the freeze on their basic pay rates through the end of 2013. A vote on the bill, sponsored by a group of House Republicans, is planned for this week.

The freeze is scheduled to end in March. Obama has called for workers’ pay to increase by 0.5 percent at that time and by 1 percent starting in 2014.