POLITICS

A series of unfortunate events, courtesy of sequestration

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

With March 1 only one week away, President Obama is trotting out administration officials to offer dire predictions about just how bad things will get if sequestration hits. By the administration’s account, $1.2 trillion is all that’s keeping us safe from wild fires, terrorist attacks, spoiled food and unending airport lines.

ABC News has compiled a list of 57 terrible consequences of sequestration, in administration officials’ own words.

Topping the list of doomsday scenarios:

  • Higher risk of terrorism:  FBI Director Robert Mueller warned the Senate Appropriations Committee, “Counterterrorism operations and investigations would be impacted by the loss of investigative, intelligence, and other personnel needed to identify and assess individuals with known or suspected terrorist ties. Further, the FBI’s ability to proactively penetrate and disrupt terrorist plans and groups prior to an attack would be impacted.”
  • Greater risk of wildfires: In a letter to the committee, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wrote warned of ”increased risk to communities from wildfires with as much as 200,000 fewer acres treated for hazardous fuels.”
  • Nationwide meat and poultry shortage: Vilsack also predicted “a nationwide shutdown of meat and poultry plants during a furlough of inspection personnel… Consumers would experience limited meat and poultry supplies, and potentially higher prices, and food safety could be compromise.”

Some of the dire predictions, though, affect things you might not have even realized your tax dollars went to in the first place.

  • Fewer air-quality forecasts: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson warned, “Sequestration would force the Agency to eliminate or significantly reduce essential air quality data systems like AIRNow, a popular air quality reporting and forecasting system.”
  • Millions cut from global AIDS funding: Secretary of State John Kerry warned that $380 million will be cut from the State Department’s U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
  • 1,000 Fewer Environmental Compliance Inspections: Sequestration would “Limit EPA’s capacity to identify toxic air emissions, water discharges, and other sources of pollution,” the EPA administrator wrote.

You can read all 57 terrible consequences of sequestration here.

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