Sequestration puts tens of millions at risk in WisconsinWith automatic federal spending cuts slated to go into effect by the end of the week, the White House on Sunday issued state-by-state reports on the impact the sequester will have on jobs and the middle class.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
With automatic federal spending cuts slated to go into effect by the end of the week, the White House on Sunday issued state-by-state reports on the impact the sequester will have on jobs and the middle class.
The reports highlight cuts to education, small business, food safety, research and innovation, mental health, government services, and safety and security.
In Wisconsin, $8.5 million in funding for primary and secondary education would be eliminated, and another $10.1 million in funding for educating students with disabilities would be cut. About 550 fewer low-income students would receive aid to finance college and 420 fewer students would get work-study to help pay tuition and fees. Head Start and Early Head Start would serve 900 fewer young children.
Wisconsin would lose almost $3.9 million in environmental funding and almost $1.5 million in grants to fund fish and wildlife protection.
And about 3,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed to cut $12.4 million in gross pay. Another $1 million would be cut for Army base operations.
Also affected would be Justice Assistance Grants, job search and training assistance for the unemployed, childcare, vaccines for children, and programs that provides services to the victims of domestic violence and nutrition for seniors totaling more than $3.8 million in federal funding, according to the report issued by the White House.
“By design, it was never supposed to happen,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said. “It was supposed to be held out there as the threat that if you don’t come together across the party aisle and figure out a solution to our challenges, then sequestration will happen. Well that didn’t work and now we’re facing this deadline.”
It’s a deadline that trigger across-the-board cuts totaling $85 billion and result in hundreds of thousands layouts nationwide, according to the Associated Press.
As a brand new member of the senate, Baldwin said she met with her colleagues in the 104-member panel.
“We put together a plan that would avert sequestration for the balance of the year, the calendar year,” Baldwin said during an interview Wednesday with the Telegram in Madison. “We intend to put it up for a vote next week as soon as we when we reconvene. The plan is balanced in terms of the much more targeted cuts that it makes, and the revenue that it brings in.”
However, the White House and Republicans kept up the unrelenting mudslinging Sunday about the widely condemned budget cuts set to take effect by the end of the week, AP reported Sunday.
Baldwin said she is hopeful the senate will pass the plan developed before Capitol Hill went into recess for 10 days and get the attention of congress so a solution can be found by Friday.
“That’s precisely how we have to confront our challenges,” Baldwin said. “We can’t just do these arbitrary, across the board cuts. We have to be smart about it so we don’t shortchange our future.”
The ever-present series of crises in Washington D.C. is wreaking havoc on the nation’s economy, Baldwin said.
“The people understand these are failures of leadership,” said Baldwin, who serves on the senate budget committee. “These are manmade crises because of partisan gridlock. What I’m hopeful about is getting back to the usual way of conducting business with an annual budget process with an orderly way of setting our priorities, not only for the year ahead, but multiple years ahead.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.