More projections about the looming across-the-board cuts from the Budget Control Act are emerging, and the latest one, issued by the Bipartisan Policy Center, estimates that the cuts may be even deeper than predicted.

In The 2013 Sequester May Not Be What You Think, the Bipartisan Policy Center projects that come January, the across-the-board cuts could total as much as 9.3%. Earlier estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities projected the cuts would range from 7.8% to 9.1%. (See background on these cuts here, here and here).

One of the points the report makes is that in January of 2013, when the cuts are scheduled to take effect, the fiscal year will be three months in. That means spending cuts will be distributed over the remaining nine months of the year, instead of a full 12, spurring cuts as high as 12.3%.

Further, according to the report:

“[W]ith the cuts slated to occur three months into the fiscal year, this will create massive uncertainty for government agencies if changes to the sequester continue to be negotiated during this year’s Lame Duck session. Department heads will be forced to allocate funds without knowing their full budgets for the year. Operating the federal government in this fashion is irresponsible and a recipe for disaster.”

There is particular concern about Title I, ESEA Title II, IDEA State Grants, and Career and Technical Education funding, since each program receives advanced appropriations, or is forward-funded. Impact Aid, which is current-year funded, is also exposed to the most immediate impacts of the sequester.

 

-Emily Rohlffs

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