OMB Plans for Automatic Cuts, Urges Congress to Find Sequestration Alternative

July 11, 2012

Sequestration doesn't threaten only national security. Critical infrastructure and domestic programs also face a budgetary "brick wall" early next year, according Jeff Zients, the acting head of the Office of Management and Budget.

The 2011 Budget Control Act is scheduled to trigger across-the-board cuts of nearly 8 percent off federal spending beginning January 2013 if lawmakers can't agree on an alternative. The cuts will bring government outlays to their lowest levels since the Eisenhower administration, Zients wrote on Politico.com, emphasizing the upcoming budget sequester was intended to be a means to encourage responsible bipartisan deficit reduction, not to force "destructive" cuts to the federal government.

Some of the actions mandated by the law would result in cutting the number of FBI and Border Patrol agents, reducing Federal Aviation Administration safety operations and closing national parks, he said. Additionally, money set aside for children's nutrition programs, teachers' pay and federal research also would face key losses. 

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