Wisconsin Would See $27 Million in Cuts Under Sequester: White House
Report released Sunday by Obama administration details more than a dozen areas in which federal aid would be cut — primarily in education and health care.
Wisconsin would see more than $27 million in federal funds cut from a myriad of programs if Congress fails to act this week to avoid the sequester, the Obama administration said Sunday.
In a move designed to pressure Republicans into accepting new revenues as part of a deal to prevent the sequester from taking effect on Friday, the White House released reports that outlined how those cuts would impact individual states, The Huffington Post reported.
In Wisconsin, most of the $27.4 million in looming cuts would affect education programs, the report said. For example, the state would lose $8.5 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 120 teacher and teacher aide jobs at risk.
Wisconsin also would lose about $10.1 million in funds for about 120 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities, the White House said.
The report detailed other programs and services on the chopping block in Wisconsin, including:
- About 550 fewer low-income students would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 420 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
- Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for about 900 children.
- Wisconsin would lose about $3.9 million in environmental funding and another $1.48 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
- About 3,000 civilian Department of Defense employees working in Wisconsin would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $12.4 million in total.
- Army base operation funding would be cut by about $1 million.
- Wisconsin would lose about $216,000 in grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts.
- The state would lose about $661,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 23,120 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
- About $824,000 would be cut in funding for various health care program, include vaccinations for children, upgrades in the ability to respond to public health threats and AIDS testing.
- About $1.4 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse would be cut.
- The state would lose $653,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
After the reports were released, congressional Republicans criticized the Obama administration for the PR move, The Huffington Post reported.
“Rather than issuing last-minute press releases on cuts to first responders or troop training or airport security, he should propose smarter ways to cut Washington spending. After all, Washington spending, even with the sequester, is bigger than it was when he got here,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.
And Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday that he didn't believe the sequester would have much of an impact on the Badger State, the Journal Sentinel reported.
"If I was the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I'd probably be freaked out," Walker told the Journal Sentinel, referring to that state's huge defense presence. "But we don't have big military bases (and) our military contractors have already started to account for this."
Unless Congress intervenes, the law requires the Obama administration to impose $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts to military and domestic programs on Friday, according to The New York Times. Those cuts would be the start of $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade.