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Failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending has triggered automatic cuts known as sequestration. Those cuts went into effect March 1, 2013 after Congress and the President failed to reach agreement on a plan to stop them. Agencies are now faced with the reality of trimming programs and furloughing employees to reduce their spending by the specified amount. Federal News Radio follows the latest on sequestration and its effects on the Defense Department, civilian agencies, and industry, as well as Congressional and White House action. If you have information on sequestration or furloughs that you would like to share with Federal News Radio, please email us. And for the latest breaking news on sequestration, sign up for our Breaking News Email Alerts.
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The loss of pay due to furloughs is unpleasant for all federal employees. But, for some, the smaller paychecks could be the difference between life or death. The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund is helping federal employees in need by offering loans. All you need to know about making a donation or requesting a loan can be found here.
The Defense Department will be hit the hardest if sequestration takes effect. In preparation for sequestration, the Pentagon has already let go of tens of thousands of temporary hires and is drawing up a contingency plan for one-day-a-week furloughs. Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter says the unpaid furloughs would begin in April and continue through the remainder of the fiscal year if sequestration is not avoided.
No agency will be spared if sequestration goes into effect. The Office of Management and Budget says federal employees can expect hundreds of thousands of furloughs. Agencies will have to cut at the program, project and activity levels.
Some contractor groups say the nearly 10 percent across-the-board Defense cuts would put at least 1 million people out of work and potentially cripple the defense and aerospace industries if sequestration isn't averted. But others aren't so convinced, saying the downsizing may be needed.
Congress and the White House have proposed many different deals to avoid sequestration but none that have been agreed upon by the House, Senate and the White House. A resolution must be reached by March 1 to avert the automatic cuts.
In the weeks leading up to March 1, agencies across government painted increasingly dire pictures of life under sequestration. Along with hiring freezes, spending reductions, and curtailed travel and training, many agencies are planning for furloughs. With Federal News Radio's Sequestration Tracker, find out how agencies have said they'll slash their budgets to comply with the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts.
A comprehensive list of all of Federal News Radio's sequestration coverage, including how it will impact the Defense Department, civilian agencies, and industry, as well as the congressional legislation and White House action being taken to avert it.