Viewpoint: How sequestration will affect local governments
By AmyClaire Brusch
Americans have watched in bewilderment for the past couple of years as their government regularly ignores its responsibility to get the federal budget under control. Now its self-imposed penalty for inaction, automatic spending cuts under sequestration, will take effect. Sequestration was intended as a last-ditch effort to force Washington to get serious about budget management, without actually making any tough decisions.
Thankfully, the most critical social needs such as Medicare and Pell Grants will be spared from sequestration. Yet many important public needs are not spared. Almost all direct federal aid to state and local entities, as well as most competitive grants, will be reduced if not eliminated. These cuts will make it nearly impossible for already strapped municipalities to provide the basic education and public safety services their citizens deserve.
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AmyClaire Brusch is a vice president in O’Neill and Associates‘ federal relations practice. Before joining O’Neill and Associates, Brusch served as an aide to Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas) in a succession of roles including legislative assistant, appropriations associate staff, legislative director, and deputy chief of staff.