Unless congress acts by this coming Friday, March 1st, the White House claims hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs will be threatened and vital services for children and seniors could be eliminated.
Dr. Michael Federici of Mercyhurst University explains that the cuts could be felt more here in PA because we rely more on aid.
Here's a look at what the White House released on the sequester and its impact on Pennsylvania.
Teachers and Schools: Pennsylvania will lose approximately $26.4 million in funding for primary
and secondary education, putting around 360 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 29,000
fewer students would be served and approximately 90 fewer schools would receive funding.
o Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Pennsylvania will lose approximately
$21.4 million in funds for about 260 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with
Work-Study Jobs: Around 3,160 fewer low income students in Pennsylvania would receive aid to
help them finance the costs of college and around 2,290 fewer students will get work-study jobs
that help them pay for college.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately
2,300 children in Pennsylvania, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Pennsylvania would lose about $5,705,000 in
environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from
pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Pennsylvania could lose another $1,448,000 in grants
for fish and wildlife protection.
Military Readiness: In Pennsylvania, approximately 26,000 civilian Department of Defense
employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $150.1 million in total.
o Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $7 million in Pennsylvania.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution:
Pennsylvania will lose about $509,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement,
prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections,
drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
Job Search Assistance to Help those in Pennsylvania find Employment and Training:
Pennsylvania will lose about $866,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement,
meaning around 36,860 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 1,800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care,
which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Vaccines for Children: In Pennsylvania around 5,280 fewer children will receive vaccines for
diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due
to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $361,000.
Public Health: Pennsylvania will lose approximately $1,213,000 in funds to help upgrade its
ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and
biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Pennsylvania will lose about
$2,930,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3,500 fewer
admissions to substance abuse programs. And Pennsylvania's health departments will lose about
$639,000 resulting in around16,000 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: Pennsylvania could lose up to $271,000 in funds that
provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 1,000 fewer victims being
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Pennsylvania would lose approximately $849,000 in funds that
provide meals for seniors.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) now calculates that sequestration will require an annual
reduction of roughly 5 percent for nondefense programs and roughly 8 percent for defense programs.
However, given that these cuts must be achieved over only seven months instead of 12, the effective
percentage reductions will be approximately 9 percent for nondefense programs and 13 percent for
defense programs. These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government.
Cuts to education: Our ability to teach our kids the skills they'll need for the jobs of the future
would be put at risk. 70,000 young children would lose access to Head Start, 10,000 teacher
jobs would be put at risk, and funding for up to 7,200 special education teachers, aides, and
staff could be cut.
Cuts to small business: Small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs in America. Instead
of helping small businesses expand and hire, the automatic cuts would reduce loan guarantees
to small businesses by up to approximately $900 million.
Cuts to food safety: Outbreaks of food borne illness are a serious threat to families and public
health. If sequestration takes effect, up to 2,100 fewer food inspections could occur, putting
families at risk and costing billions in lost food production.
Cuts to research and innovation: To compete for the jobs of the future and ensure that the
next breakthroughs to find cures for critical diseases are developed right here in America, we
need to continue to lead the world in research and innovation. Most Americans with chronic
diseases don't have a day to lose, but under sequestration progress towards cures would be
delayed and several thousand researchers could lose their jobs. Up to 12,000 scientists and
students would also be impacted.
Cuts to mental health: If sequestration takes effect, up to 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults
and seriously emotionally disturbed children could go untreated. This would likely lead to
increased hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for
More detailed explanations of these cuts as well as additional areas that will be impacted include:
Security and Safety
FBI and other law enforcement - The FBI and other law enforcement entities would see a
reduction in capacity equivalent to more than 1,000 Federal agents. This loss of agents would
significantly impact our ability to combat violent crime, pursue financial crimes, secure our
borders, and protect national security.
Customs and border patrol - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would not be able to maintain current staffing levels of border patrol agents and CBP officers as mandated by Congress.
CBP would have to reduce its work hours by the equivalent of over 5,000 border patrol agents and
the equivalent of over 2,750 CBP officers. Funding and staffing reductions would increase wait
times at airports, weaken security between land ports of entry, limit CBP's ability to collect
revenue owed to the Federal government, and slow screening and entry for those traveling into the
United States. At the major gateway airports, average wait times could increase by 30-50 percent.
At the nation's busiest airports, like Newark, JFK, LAX, and Chicago O'Hare, peak wait times
could grow to over 4 hours or more. On the southwest land border, our biggest ports of entry in
California and Texas could face wait times of 5 hours or more during peak holid
Airports are also facing spending cuts, and if the deadline reaches without an agreement then passengers will be dealing with major delays.
The FAA released a list of all of the airports that were going to be impacted, luckily the Erie International Airport was not on that list.