You are on page 1of 6

The Sequester & Selected Impact from Various Publications (see URLs)

1. Http:// Updated March 1, 2013: Beginning with the week ending April 7th, federal government budget cuts known as sequestration could affect your unemployment insurance benefits. If you are receiving regular UI benefits you will NOT see any change. However, if you are receiving federal extended unemployment benefits that start after 26 weeks, the federal government has directed us to reduce your payments by 10.7% beginning that first week in April. New York State has no control over these cuts in benefits and no ability to waive or reduce the level of cuts. If you are going to be affected, you will receive a letter during the month of March telling you your exact benefit amount. Please check this website for the most up to date information concerning the sequestration cuts. And please be aware that our telephone call center agents do not have any more up to date information, so it is best to use our webpage, Facebook page or contact the United States Department of Labor at 1866-487-2365, the White House at 202-456-1414 or your member of Congress at 202224-3121. 2. Passengers may see greater impact at airports from cuts to the Transportation Security Administration, which issued a statement on Monday saying that "travelers can expect to see lines and wait times increase as reductions to overtime and the inability to backfill positions for attrition begin to occur this month." The TSA went on to write: "while wait times can vary on a number of factors, due to the reductions mandated by sequestration, TSA will put in place a hiring freeze, which will result in up to an additional 1,000 TSO vacancies by Memorial Day Weekend and up to 2,600 vacancies by the end of the fiscal year." The agency added that during busy travel periods, wait times could double at the larger airports for those already waiting 30 to 40 minutes. Others expecting minimal wait times at less busy airports could now find themselves in a half-hour long wait. Some international flights have been delayed as well. In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that during the first morning of sequestration, it experienced "spikes in wait times at the top two international gateway airports." The extended wait

times were due to reductions in staffing, the agency reported. "At John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, CBP had approximately 56 flights with wait times in excess of 2 hours, and 14 flights over 3 hours," CBP explained in its statement. "Miami International Airport (MIA) reported 51 flights over 2 hours, and 4 flights approached/exceeded 3 hours. "These wait times are not typical for this time period, and are related to decreased booth staffing." 3. From AARP: term=sequester&utm_campaign=M_Politics%2B& %2BSociety&360cid=SI_551107443_2125693685_1 Will anything happen to my Social Security payments? No worries here either. Social Security and disability payments were exempt from the budget cuts. On the other hand, the Social Security Administration might reduce services to the public, close some offices and watch its already epic backlog of disability claims grow even bigger. What about Medicaid and Veterans Affairs compensation payments? The same as for Social Security no change in benefits. That's also true for SNAP (formerly the food stamps program) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Will Meals on Wheels keep delivering to my home? The program will take a hit, although the immediate effect is unclear. Long-term, it could mean 4 million fewer meals for older people, according to the White House budget office. What will happen to the economy? That's a tough one. Predictions aren't nearly as dire as they were for the fiscal cliff, but economic growth will likely slow and, by some estimates, up to 1 million jobs could be lost. A few economists even say we'll slip back into recession.

What could happen to my retirement investments? That's anyone's guess. Many Wall Street analysts think the stock market will tumble as a result of the projected decline in gross domestic product and the gridlocked situation in Washington. Others, though, think the markets will show little change and even improve in the long run. So, depending on where your money is, this could have different effects on your portfolio. Still, all this is highly speculative at this point. If you're relying on your investments right now for retirement income, your situation is just as unpredictable. What if I have plans to visit a national park? Definitely check ahead. A National Parks Service memo instructs staff to plan for sharp cuts in the ranks of park rangers and deep cuts in park hours and services.

4. From the Daily Orange For college students, the effects of sequestration could also be felt in the form of financial aid. The budget cuts will affect certain federal financial aid for students, as well as the federal work-study program, according to a statement by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. We might see decreases in federal aid, which could make all the difference for someone on the edge of not being able to afford college, said Colin Crowley, president of SUs College Democrats and columnist for The Daily Orange. James Ward, president of the College Republicans, couldnt be reached for comment. In addition, Crowley said students will likely feel the brunt of negative economic effects resulting from budget cuts. He said economic downturns usually cause students to find fewer and lower-paying jobs. Despite all of the potential repercussions of the sequester, Crowley said he doesnt think students are particularly well informed about the budget cuts. Its difficult for anyone, students included, to maintain interest when we have a fiscal cliff every two weeks, Crowley said. Eventually, people stop caring and I think were starting to see that happen.

5. From The automatic defense cuts, on top of $487 billion in reductions already agreed to over the next decade, could have dire consequences for national security and military policy, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Sequestration would slash funds for low-income school grants, special education and Head Start, affecting some 30.7 million children, according to Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Job-training funds and child care subsidies would disappear. Economists predict the loss of jobs and job support programs could plunge the nation back into recession. 6. From FedSmith

79% of respondents say the political dispute surrounding sequestration has impacted the work of their agency. Only 42% of those responding would advise young workers to pursue a federal career.

The survey also invited open ended comments, and over 300 individuals shared their opinions. The general tenor of the comments mirrors some of the moribund trends in the response highlights above, such as a low morale when it comes to recommending federal employment to younger workers. The following is a sample of some of the comments: I have never seen morale so low. We had a young intelligent person that was hired, and after 6 months resigned. Expertise has been lost for many years before now and the department has dumbeddown its expectations of quality to meet the lower levels. I used to be proud of my service to my Country; USMC and 31 years in federal law enforcement. Now, were just a target for politicians, the media, and the uninformed public. It doesnt matter anymore, and it hurts. I used to be proud to say that I am a Federal Civil Servant not anymore.

7. From the New York Daily News The Obama administration announced Tuesday that all public tours of the White House will be canceled after Friday because of budget cuts hitting all areas of the federal government. 8. From the Federal Times The cuts would sharply curtail or halt meat inspections, resulting in $10 billion in production losses and more than $400 million in lost wages to employees, according to USDA. Federal law requires beef, poultry, pork and other meats to contain the USDAs inspection seal before they are shipped. Without these necessary inspections, shipments to grocery stores would stop and prices for beef, chicken and other meats that have already been approved for sale on supermarket shelves would increase. 9. From the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials As a result of sequestration, the major federal public health agencies will have significantly reduced funds to devote to state health grants and programs, which could have severe implications for how effectively public health agencies can respond to emergencies. The upcoming sequester will affect such critical public health programs as childhood and adult vaccination, disaster preparedness and recovery, maternal and child health, and foodborne outbreak prevention and investigation. After sequestration, funding for these and other programs will plummet to $26.5 billion. 10. From Salon ns/ The Federal Bureau of Investigations told lawmakers in a recent letter that across-theboard cuts resulting from sequestration will cause current financial crimes investigations to slow as workload is spread among a reduced workforce.