Democrats: Sequestration Band-Aids Cost Taxpayers More

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 02:43 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Piecemeal efforts to ease the impact of federal sequestration budget cuts may cost taxpayers more, according to House Appropriations Committee Democrats.

"A few departments and agencies have found ways to mitigate some very specific impacts of sequestration," says a report, obtained by the Huffington Post.

"However, these strategies merely replace one set of cuts with cuts to other parts of the same agency . . . Piecemeal efforts to manage sequestration are counterproductive. They often require underfunding long-term needs to mitigate short-term pain. In many instances, the annual savings mask increased longer-term costs."

The report was spearheaded by the committee's ranking member, New York Rep. Nita Lowey.

The Federal Aviation Administration, the report said, was given leeway to end its furloughs, but it came "at the expense of another priority in the form of construction projects which can no longer be paid for with discretionary funds."

And while food-safety inspectors were spared sequestration cuts, costs merely were moved elsewhere, with funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture building maintenance and upgrades for school kitchen equipment being hit.

"Again, sequestration forced a difficult sacrifice of long-term necessities to avoid short-term pain," Lowey's report concluded.





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