The White House has released a report outlining what will happen state by state if the automatic across-the-board budget cuts are allowed to go into effect March 1st. Perhaps the most egregious of these cuts in Iowa, would be meals for seniors which would lose $220,000 in funding. While the GOP and billionaires continue to fight to avoid tax loopholes, they try to sell the idea that there is no money for meals for senior citizens. Children with disabilities, teachers, schools, child care, vaccines, environmental protections, work study jobs for college students, law enforcement and military cuts, are all on the chopping block in our state. All so the wealthiest 1% can continue to indulge in greed, thanks to their enablers, the GOP.
Here’s what will happen. Click here to contact your representatives in DC.
Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security
If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Iowa this year alone are:
Teachers and Schools:
Iowa will lose approximately $6.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 90 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 7,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 50 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities:
In addition, Iowa will lose approximately $5.8 million in funds for about 70 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Around 2,370 fewer low income students in Iowa would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 1,020 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 500 children in Iowa, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water:
Iowa would lose about $2.4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Iowa could lose another $661,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
In Iowa, approximately 2,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $7.4 million in total.
Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $1.5 million in Iowa.
Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Iowa would be cut by about $0 million.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution:
Iowa will lose about $135,000 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 Iowa find Employment and Training:
Iowa will lose about $376,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 12,680 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Up to 300 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 Iowa around 1,320 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 $90,000.
Iowa will lose approximately $291,000 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, Iowa will lose about $670,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 1,100 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Iowa Department of Public Health will lose about $61,000 resulting in around 1,500 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program:
Iowa could lose up to $65,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 200 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors:
Iowa would lose approximately $220,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
Unless Congress acts by March 1st , a series of automatic cuts—called the sequester—will take effect that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.
Already, the President has worked with Congress to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, but there’s more to do. The President has put forward a balanced plan to not only avoid the harmful effects of the sequester but also to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion in total. The President’s plan meets Republicans more than halfway and includes twice as many spending cuts as it does tax revenue from the wealthy.
Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe. By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction. The President is determined to cut spending and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, but he won’t stick the middle class with the bill. The President is willing to compromise, but on behalf the middle class he cannot accept a deal that undercuts their economic security.
Our economy is continuing to strengthen but we cannot afford a self-inflicted wound from Washington. Republicans should compromise and meet the President in the middle. We cannot simply cut our way to prosperity, and if Republicans continue to insist on an unreasonable, cuts-only approach, Iowa risks paying the price.