Automatic, Across-the-board Cuts Set into Motion

With the Administration and Congress failing to reach a deal, President Obama issued a brief sequestration order on March 1, and a report that lays out the federal accounts to be cut and their percentages for FY 2013. While the report lists each account that is subject to the automatic cuts, it remains to be seen how and when many of the agencies will apportion the cuts to programs that fall under them. For example, there is cut of 5% for “CDC-Wide Activities and Program Support” and it is not clear at this point how much discretion the CDC will have in apportioning cuts to the many activities and programs (such as the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities) that fall under it.

It should be noted since the cuts of approximately 5.3% for non-defense discretionary programs are for the entire fiscal year, cuts will be on the order of nearly 10% for the remaining 7 months of the fiscal year. See the sequestration report at the White House website. The Department of Health and Human Services listing of accounts begins on page 24.