March 1 marks the day when sweeping, across the board cuts to the federal budget take effect, thanks to the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Washington, D.C.’s sequestration obsession, the latest skirmish in a series of highly charged federal budget battles, showed congressional leaders locked into entrenched, partisan-tinged stances. Generally speaking, Congressional Democrats wanted to avoid cuts to discretionary programs that include help for low-income families, education, and food and water safety, among other priorities. Generally, Republicans wanted to avoid cuts to military spending.
With politics and principles leading to the failure of Congressional leaders to unite, we now face $85 billion in automatic cuts which will take a meat cleaver approach to chopping the budget, rather than a surgical scalpel.
Want to learn more? Here are sequestration resources from leading Open Society Foundations grantee partners: