Expect Sequestration to Hit Much Harder in 2014, Report Says

Expect Sequestration to Hit Much Harder in 2014, Report Says

USDA was able to avoid furloughing meat inspectors in 2013.
USDA was able to avoid furloughing meat inspectors in 2013. Michael A. Mariant/AP file photo

Less severe cuts, deferred costs and temporary solutions mitigated sequestration’s effect in its inaugural year, but will not help lessen the impact in 2014, according to a new report.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, said the tactics federal agencies used to reduce furloughs in fiscal 2013 are, in many cases, no longer available. In fact, they will largely accentuate the severity of the cuts this time around.

For example, Congress allowed the Federal Aviation Administration to move funds from an account meant to provide maintenance to airports nationwide to avoid furloughs of air traffic controllers that would have delayed flights. Similar budgetary “gimmicks” were employed at the Agriculture Department to stave off furloughs of meat inspectors and by the Justice Department, which has already announced plans of 10 furlough days for FBI agents in 2014.

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