White House Details ‘Devastating’ Cuts Under Sequestration

September 14, 2012

Scientific research would be curtailed, the ranks of federal law enforcement officers slashed, and military procurement funding whacked if Congress fails to prevent automatic budget cuts from occurring in January, the Obama administration said in a Friday report.

Across government, the impact of the so-called sequestration cuts would be “deeply destructive,” the report said.

Numerous defense programs would have to absorb 9.4 percent spending cuts while many discretionary domestic programs would be reduced 8.2 percent.

In all, cuts to discretionary spending would add up to $109 billion, the report said. The report detailed how more than 1,200 programs, ranging from the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to the Defense Department’s Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, would be affected.

The cuts would “have a significant impact on the federal workforce,” a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call, although the report does not detail whether employee furloughs or layoffs would be needed. Military personnel and all of the Veterans Affairs Department would be exempt from the cuts. He and other White House staff spoke on condition that they not be identified.

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