President Obama called an afternoon press conference today to request that Congress circumvent the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration scheduled for March 1. Instead of allowing the cuts to take effect, he said, Congress should head them off with a package that cuts spending and closes tax loopholes.
Congressional lawmakers, for their part, have suggested in recent weeks that sequestration will happen – a marked change from the debate of early last year. And although Speaker of the House John Boehner says that Republican leadership “believe[s] there is a better way to reduce the deficit” than sequestration, he also argues that those measures should not come at the cost of higher taxes.
With less than a month before sequestration takes effect, our sister blog Ed Money Watch clarified last week how the rest of fiscal year 2013 is shaping up. Their advice? Assuming Congress doesn’t act in the next month, watch out for March 27, not March 1:
Education Funding is $0.0 Billion on March 27, Twenty-Seven Days Post Sequester: Using the formula we outlined, we could show you a long list of education programs, their current funding levels, and their post-sequestration levels come March 1, but that would be a waste of time. Funding for all the programs goes to zero on March 27 when fiscal year 2013 funding under the CR expires, until Congress and the president decide specific funding for each program for the remainder of the year.
Read the full post here
Of course, Congress could pass a series of budget cuts sometime in the next couple weeks that forestall sequestration, or lawmakers resolve the expiration of the continuing resolution. Check back with Early Ed Watch for more updates.