Sequestration Looms - But When Will The Pain Feel Real?
According to Daren Briscoe, a spokesman for the Department of Education, about 1,200 impact aid districts, many of which are on military bases or Native American lands, will be faced with a cumulative $60 million worth of cuts. Of those districts, Briscoe says about 23 have been designated "heavily impacted," which means they get about half of their funding per student from the federal government.
Despite Democratic doomsday warnings, some Republicans -- though still pinning sequestration on the president -- are starting to argue that the cuts wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing in the world. After all, they argue, finding ways to trim waste, consolidate programs, and increase efficiency in existing government programs cuts would be better than allowing the deficit to grow.
"The federal government spends $3.5 trillion a year. This would be a little over two percent of that. Surely the government can find a way to trim a little," argued one Republican Senate aide. "Some of these scenarios they're presenting almost hurt the credibility of the administration, and the argument about the consequences of sequester."
Republicans also appear to be firm in their opposition to the prospect of further increases in tax revenue, which the president has proposed as part of his desired "balanced" approach to reducing the deficit and averting sequestration, which suggests a deal continues to be a long way off.
"The tax part is finished," said the Senate aide. "We did the tax part. Let's do the spending part. And there's balance."