By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
If Congress doesn’t pass a budget deal by the end of the year, an 8.2% across the board federal budget cut will impact numerous federal programs and defense will be hit much harder than that.
According to a statement by the National Educator’s Association (NEA) if that happens, “You can toll the bell for many of the critical programs that help poor Americans go to college and get jobs, as well as much of the grant-funded university research that saves lives, creates alternative energy sources, and fuels American innovation.”
NEA senior policy analyst, Mark F. Smith said, ““It would be devastating to our future. In education alone, more than 75,000 jobs would be lost, and critical research funding and student aid programs would be slashed.”
If Congress cannot get President Obama to agree on legislation undoing the automatic budget cuts that are scheduled to slash many federal programs by 8.2% percent across-the-board numerous people will be impacted across the country and across Alabama.
The Department of Defense would be hit by a 9.8% cut. Those cuts particularly concern Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery. Rep. Roby said, “I have also personally communicated to my colleagues the importance of avoiding deep automatic cuts to the military. There are other areas of the government more deserving of further cuts, and certainly reforming entitlement spending is the key to constraining future spending.”
According to original reporting by the AP’s Phillip Rawls, a study by George Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis Alabama could lose 26,845 defense related jobs.
Many Alabama college students will lose financial aid in the next 12 months.
According to a report by Senator Tom Harkin’s (D) from Iowa office an estimated 100,000 college students would lose aid.
Danette Madore who is an Upward Bound counselor at the U. of Maine at Presque Isle said, “These are mostly young Americans from poor families, where parents are making choices between, food, oil, and medicine—they can’t afford all three.” TRIO, Upward Bound, federal work study programs, and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, would be cut by 8.2%. The federal Pell Grant program however is shielded from 2013 cuts.
Sequestration cuts will also affect University laboratories, where faculty, staff, and graduate students depend on federal grants from agencies like the U.S. Department of Energy or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The National Institutes of Health would cut of $2.4 billion in grants. According to ResearchAmerica, the total effect of sequestration on health research specifically would be $3.6 billion.