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February 2013

House Appropriations Committee members release report on sequestration impact

February 18, 2013 -- Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee have released a report on the potential impact of sequestration on US government programs. The report states that sequestration—or widespread and indiscriminate cuts to all federal programs—would have far-reaching consequences for domestic growth and employment. For example, sequestration could slow US economic growth by half in 2013 and cut more than 2.14 million domestic jobs.

In addition to detailing domestic economic impacts, the report outlines the potential effects of sequestration on agencies that fund global health and research programs.

“A sequester would force cuts to global health and development funding of over $432 million, severely hindering the United States government from taking advantage of opportunities to dramatically change the face of disease and, in some cases, permanently reduce suffering,” the report claims. It adds that sequestration would cut the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) global health budget by $139 million. Cuts to USAID’s global health programs would hinder progress in the development of game-changing new technologies, such as research to develop a vaccine for HIV/AIDS.

Budget cuts would also be expected at agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration would be cut by $350 million and $120 million, respectively. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the largest funder of global health research in the world—would be cut by $1.6 billion. The Office of Management and Budget indicates that several thousand researchers at NIH could lose their jobs as a result of sequestration.

“Unless Congress immediately rejects these indiscriminate cuts and commits to a more thoughtful budgeting process, our fragile economic recovery will stall,” the report concludes. “The sequester will also cripple key investments in education, infrastructure improvements, and research.”

  • To read the full report, click here
  • To read a factsheet on the report, click here
  • To read a letter from the State Department on sequestration, click here
  • To read a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services on sequestration, click here
  • To read a letter from the Department of Agriculture on sequestration, click here

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