Excerpt from the White House report on the impact of sequestration, September 14, 2012
This report, which provides preliminary estimates of the sequestration’s impact on more than 1,200 budget accounts, makes clear that sequestration would have a devastating impact on important defense and nondefense programs. While the Department of Defense would be able to shift funds to ensure war fighting and critical military readiness capabilities were not degraded, sequestration would result in a reduction in readiness of many non-deployed units, delays in investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs, declines in military research and development efforts, and reductions in base services for military families.
On the nondefense side, sequestration would undermine investments vital to economic growth, threaten the safety and security of the American people, and cause severe harm to pro- grams that benefit the middle-class, seniors, and children. Education grants to States and local school districts supporting smaller classes, afterschool programs, and children with disabilities would suffer. The number of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents, correctional officers, and federal prosecutors would be slashed. The Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to oversee and manage the Nation’s airspace and air traffic control would be reduced. The Department of Agriculture’s efforts to inspect food processing plants and prevent foodborne illnesses would be curtailed. The Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe would be degraded. The National Institutes of Health would have to halt or curtail scientific research, including needed research into cancer and childhood diseases. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to respond to incidents of terrorism and other catastrophic events would be undermined. And critical housing programs and food assistance for low-income families would be cut.