The White House Sunday released state-by-state information on how sequestration may affect residents of all 50 states—and Virginia stands to lose millions.
When Patch asked its readers this weekend whether President Obama and Senate Democrats are “to blame” for sequestration or if fault lies with John Boehner and the House Republicans, opinions were mixed.
“Both parties are to blamed for this event, as neither are attempting to compromise on the issues that each party brings to the table. Neither party is governing at this point in time,” said reader Roger Todd.
Another reader, who went by the username cmvorhees, wrote, “It is absurd that the failure of elected officials to do their job results in furloughs, lay-offs etc. to third parties. Congress should be forced to pay the salaries of the folks that Congress's inaction results in their loss of income. The blame game needs to stop. Solutions are needed. However, politics seems to want to avoid solutions at the expense of others.”
Financial Impact on Virginia: $838+ Million
Northern Virginia resident Robert Foster has already started cutting back on eating out and is delaying his planned purchase of a new car due to sequestration.
But sequestration won’t only affect government employees and people working for government contractors, according to the White House, which released a state-by-state breakdown of sequestration’s affects.
Sequestration could affect students, unemployed people, victims of domestic violence and the environment, according to the data for Virginia.
Sequestration’s direct affect on Virginia could total more than $838 million, though ripple effects throughout Virginia’s economy could drive that number up. In the District, sequestration’s direct affect could total almost $120 million, not including ripple effects.
Read more about how Virginia could be affected, according to the White House report.
Sunday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said he would be working with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley to press Congress to find another way to cut spending. “...Don’t put 50 percent of the cuts on defense, our men and women in uniform, while we’re still fighting a war in Afghanistan,” McDonnell said on "Face the Nation" Sunday morning. “Find another way to do it, and get it done now.”
Earlier this month, McDonnell sent a letter to President Obama that said, in part, "When fully implemented, [the cuts] could force Virginia and other states into a recession. ... These reductions will have a potentially devastating impact in the Commonwealth, with the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions at the greatest risk."
Fairfax County chairman Sharon Bulova said last week in her State of the County address that sequestration is already hurting Fairfax County. “Already we’re seeing the effect of sequestration, with business people making decisions not to make expansions right now or not to fill vacant space,” Bulovasaid. “That equates directly to our tax revenue.”
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Sen. Warner: Sequestration Worse Than You Imagine
Contractors Say 'We've Been Sequestered Already'
Reps. Connolly and Moran: Sequestraion Likely to Happen
Here’s What the White House says about Virginia
If sequestration were to take effect, some examples the economic impact in Virginia this year alone are:
Teachers and Schools: Virginia will lose approximately $14 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 190 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 14,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 40 fewer schools would receive funding.
- Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Virginia will lose approximately $13.9 million in funds for about 170 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 2,120 fewer low income students in Virginia would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 840 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,000 children in Virginia, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Virginia would lose about $2,997,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Virginia could lose another $826,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Military Readiness: In Virginia, approximately 90,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $648.4 million in total.
- Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $146 million in Virginia.
- Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Virginia would be cut by about $8 million.
- Navy: Cancel the maintenance of 11 ships in Norfolk, defer four projects at Dahlgren, Oceana, and Norfolk, and delay other modernization and demolition projects.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Virginia will lose about $276,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
Job Search Assistance to Help those in Virginia find Employment and Training: Virginia will lose about $348,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 18,390 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 400 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Vaccines for Children: In Virginia around 3,530 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $241,000.
Public Health: Virginia will lose approximately $764,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Virginia will lose about $2,140,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 1,700 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Virginia State Department of Health will lose about $337,000 resulting in around 8,400 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: Virginia could lose up to $172,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 700 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Virginia would lose approximately $1,215,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.