Effects of sequester will be felt sharply by LGBT people and families
The sequester – or automatic budget cuts – will go into effect at some point in time barring a miraculous last minute deal between congressional Republicans and the White House. The Task Force has been talking about this for months. Back in November we put out a report with the Center for American Progress highlighting the likely impact that blunt budget cuts would have on the most vulnerable LGBT people around the country. We also rallied this week with a coalition of organizations to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending while protecting funds for vital services.
While it’s difficult to predict who exactly will be affected and when, it is certain that cuts – like grants states for subsidized housing, cutbacks on funding for community health centers, and fewer investigators reviewing discrimination complaints – will hit the least well-off amongst us hardest. As the New York Times reported this morning, very few areas of government spending will be spared in the automatic cuts.
Despite the significant victory of getting a bipartisan Violence Against Women Act passed through both chambers of Congress this week, the fact that the sequester is going into effect highlights the inability of Congress to agree right now. Sequestration purposely targeted defense and non-defense spending with the thinking that neither Republicans nor Democrats would allow these cuts to take effect and would reach an agreement to avoid it. What nobody expected was a Congress that would do nothing. We hope that a solution can be reached to protect the vital services that low and middle income people rely on.