Estimated Impacts of Sequestration and Tools for Advocacy (2/5/13)

Recent Action

Sequestration Update for January 2013
On January 1, 2013, the House of Representatives passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) which extended certain tax rates, let others expire, and delayed implementation of the automatic spending cuts (the “sequester” or “sequestration”) outlined in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) for two months. If not replaced, revised, or further delayed, the sequester would take place on March 1, 2013.

H.R. 8 reduces the total amount of the sequestration from $1.2 trillion over a decade to $1.176 trillion. To pay for this $24 billion reduction in the total amount of sequestration, it lowers the discretionary spending caps by $12 billion (split evenly between defense and non-defense) and finds $12 billion in revenue from a provision concerning Roth IRAs. The $12 billion cut in discretionary spending caps is achieved by reducing the current discretionary spending cap over two years for both defense and non-defense. The caps are cut by $2 billion each in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and by $4 billion each in FY 2014.

If the sequester takes place in FY 2013, instead of a total cut of $109 billion it would now be $107.147 billion (due to the $24 billion reduction in the overall $1.2 trillion sequester cut over nine years). Half of that would be defense and the remainder from non-defense ($53.573 billion each). As under the BCA, part of the non-defense spending cuts comes from mandatory spending (2% Medicare provider reimbursements, etc).

Sequestration Update for November 2012
In November 2012, House Republicans and the Obama Administration exchanged their opening proposals for a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and mandated budget cuts set to occur on January 2, 2013.

President Obama’s proposal, delivered on November 14, included $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue and $400 billion in cuts from health-care spending over ten years. It would contain $50 billion in new stimulus spending and would increase the debt ceiling. The majority of the new tax revenues would come from the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making more than $250,000 per year, something the Republicans adamantly oppose. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called the president’s offer “a non-serious proposal.”

The House Republicans offered a counter-proposal on December 3 that includes $800 billion in new revenue over ten years generated by overhauling the tax code. It would cut $600 billion from health-care programs over ten years largely by increasing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and cut discretionary spending by $300 billion. The Republicans said their plan is based off a framework written in 2011 by former president Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, though Bowles dismissed the comparison. Democrats rejected the offer citing the proposed cuts to social safety-net programs and arguing that Republicans have not explained how they can generate tax revenue without harming the middle class.

As the deadline for a deal rapidly approaches, many expect Congress to handle the issue in a two-step framework. First, Democrats and Republicans would agree legislation averting tax hikes for the middle class and containing a package of entitlement spending cuts. The second step would be an agreement containing more specific tax and entitlement reform appearing sometime in 2013.

Sequestration Update for October 2012
Due to the elections in early November, Congress has not made any progress in appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2013 beyond the continuing resolution (CR, H.J. Res. 117) passed in September. The CR will fund the government through March 2013 at a 0.6 percent increase over FY 2012 levels. Passing the six month CR gives Congress time to deal with the more pressing issues such as the sequester and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts during the lame duck. While no one in Washington knows what Congress will do to avoid the sequestration, there are several potential scenarios that could unfold.

The most dangerous scenario that could occur is for Congress to allow the sequester to happen. This outcome would be devastating to the economy in the short term and to federal research and development (R&D) in particular. Another scenario would be for the President and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to agree on a "big deal" allowing Congress and the President to spend 2013 reforming the tax code, stabilizing entitlement programs, and focusing on other issues. While this scenario is probably the best outcome possible, it will be extremely difficult for the President and Boehner to find a deal that can pass the House and the Senate before January.

The two more likely scenarios are for Congress to delay the sequester for a year and spend the lame duck dealing with tax reform or to simply pass a six-month or yearlong extension of the status quo.

Legislative Background
At the peak of the Debt Ceiling Crisis of 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) which immediately raised the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion over two years and prevented a government shutdown. Several lawmakers refused to raise the debt ceiling without enforcing deficit reduction measures at the same time. There was stark disagreement between the parties all summer over the total amount of deficit reduction, how it would be achieved, and what types of spending would be reduced. Several proposals were considered but ultimately, with time quickly running out, Congress passed the BCA. It established multiyear spending caps for defense and non-defense discretionary spending over ten years (the BCA spending caps) and formed the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to find an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade. The spending caps will cut discretionary spending, about a third of the federal budget, by about $900 billion from fiscal year (FY) 2012 - FY 2021. Even with inflation, these caps will keep discretionary spending essentially flat over the next decade.

There was little hope that the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the "supercommittee," could find an agreement so the BCA stated that if the "supercommittee" failed to reach a deal by November 23, 2011, there would be automatic cuts divided equally over defense discretionary, non-defense discretionary (where most geoscience R&D accounts are), and Medicare spending. This "trigger" was intended to force the joint committee to find an agreement since the across-the-board cuts would severely cut both Republican and Democrat spending prioroities. However, the joint committee did not find any solution in time and these large, automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as "sequestration" or the "fiscal cliff," are set to be implemented on January 2, 2013 if Congress does not act.

The projected impacts of a sequestration are widely recognized as disastrous to the economy by both Republicans and Democrats. However, the parties have not yet agreed upon a legislative pathway to avoid it.

Below is data acquired from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) R&D Budget and Policy Program's brief, "Federal R&D and Sequestration in the First Five Years," based on a White House Office of Management and Budget analysis released in September. The tables below show the reductions in geoscience R&D spending over the next five years under a balanced sequestration, spread equally over defense and non-defense disctretionary spending (Table 1). Some members of Congress have called for firewalling defense discretionary spending to protect the Department of Defense (DOD) from a devastating cut. Therefore, we have included a table showing the estimated cuts to geoscience R&D if the sequestration were only to affect non-defense discretionary accounts (Table 2). The third table shows estimated five-year total R&D cuts to each state (Table 3).

AGI encourages geoscientists to write their representatives and submit letters to the editors of their community newspapers to raise awareness of the devastating impacts sequestration would have on scientific research and development if implemented. Draft letters to representatives and editors are provided below. Geoscientists are encouraged to use the AAAS data provided in the tables and quotations from members of Congress and members of the Obama Administration in their letters.

Contact the American Geosciences Institute's Geoscience Policy Associate Wilson Bonner for any questions or assistance in submitting letters at "bonner at agiweb.org" or (703) 379-2480 x 204.

It is important to note these tables detail the effects of sequestration to federal agencies and states had it occurred on January 2, 2013. The effects of a sequestration on March 1, 2013 would be slightly different. The actual percentage cut would be smaller due to provisions in H.R. 8 but the cuts would come from seven months of spending in the fiscal year as opposed to nine.

Table 1. Equal allocation sequestration scenario

Table 2. Non-defense discretionary only scenario

Table 3. Estimated R&D cuts per state under sequestration

Table 1. Estimated R&D Cuts Under Equal Allocation Sequestration, FY 2013 - 2017 (in budget authority in millions of constant 2012 dollars)

Account

2013

2014
2015
2016
2017
Total

Department of Energy (total)

-972
-944
-916
-889
-865
-4,585

DOE Office of Science

-362
-348
-334
-321
-309
-1,675

National Science Foundation

-456
-438
-421
-404
-388
-2,106

National Aeronautic and Space Administration (total)

-763
-733
-704
-676
-650
-3,527

NASA Science

-267
-256
-246
-236
-227
-1,233

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

-47
-45
-44
-42
-40
-218

United States Geological Survey

-55
-53
-51
-49
-47
-253

National Institute of Standards and Technology

-45
-43
-42
-40
-38
-208

Total Defense R&D

-7,353
-7,237
-7,107
-6,989
-6,894
-35,580

Total Nondefense R&D

-4,476
-4,560
-4,381
-4,207
-4,046
-21,938

Total R&D

-12,099
-11,796
-11,488
-11,196
-10,939
-57,519

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Table 2. Estimated R&D Cuts Under Nondefense-Only Sequestration, FY 2013 - 2017 (in budget authority in millions of constant 2012 dollars)

Account

2013

2014
2015
2016
2017
Total

Department of Energy (total)

-1,236
-1,203
-1,171
-1,139
-1,109
-5,857

DOE Office of Science

-818
-797
-775
-754
-734
-3,879

National Science Foundation

-1,029
-1,002
-975
-949
-924
-4,880

National Aeronautic and Space Administration (total)

-1,723
-1,678
-1,633
-1,589
-1,546
-8,170

NASA Science

-603
-587
-571
-555
-541
-2,856

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

-107
-104
-101
-98
-96
-505

United States Geological Survey

-124
-121
-117
-114
-111
-587

National Institute of Standards and Technology

-102
-99
-96
-94
-91
-482

Total Defense R&D

0
0
0
0
0
0

Total Nondefense R&D

10,721
-10,440
-10,158
-9,882
-9,620
-50,822

Total R&D

-10,721
-10,440
-10,158
-9,882
-9,620
-50,822

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Table 3. Estimated State R&D Cuts Under Sequestration, FY 2013 - 2017

State

Total

(five-year totals in millions of dollars*)

Percent

Alabama

-1,439
-8.7%

Alaska

-178
-8.5%

Arizona

-1,337
-8.8%

Arkansas

-68
-7.8%

California

-11,315
-8.5%

Colorado

-1,157
-8.1%

Connecticut

-1,054
-8.7%

Delaware

-53
-8.0%

D.C.

-2,877
-8.6%

Florida

-1,566
-8.7%

Georgia

-907
-8.4%

Hawaii

-220
-8.5%

Idaho

-158
-8.1%

Illinois

-1,015
-8.0%

Indiana

-287
-8.2%

Iowa

-260
-8.1%

Kansas

-147
-8.3%

Kentucky

-113
-7.9%

Louisiana

-195
-8.1%

Maine

-115
-8.4%

Maryland

-5,440
-8.1%

Massachusetts

-3,140
-8.4%

Michigan

-739
-8.3%

Minnesota

-500
-8.2%

Mississippi

-417
-8.7%

Missouri

-1,039
-8.6%

Montana

-108
-7.8%

Nebraska

-90
-8.0%

Nevada

-239
-8.3%

New Hampshire

204
-8.4%

New Jersey

-1,142
-8.7%

New Mexico

-1,880
-8.4%

New York

-2,401
-8.2%

North Carolina

-750
-7.7%

North Dakota

-52
-8.0%

Ohio

-1,434
-8.5%

Oklahoma

-185
-8.4%

Oregon

-244
-7.8%

Pennsylvania

-1,754
-8.2%

Rhode Island

-333
-8.6%

South Carolina

-209
-8.3%

South Dakota

-31
-7.8%

Tennessee

-757
-8.1%

Texas

-2,822
-8.6%

Utah

-484
-8.5%

Vermont

-102
-8.4%

Virginia

-4,256
8.8%

Washington

1,661
-8.5%

West Virginia

-196
-8.3%

Wisconsin

-295
-7.7%

Wyoming

19
-7.8%

*Five-year totals expressed as budget authority in millions of constant U.S. dollars
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Letter to Representatives Template (updated for January - February 2013)

AGI encourages all geoscientists to contact their members of Congress and ask them to avoid the sequestration and find a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Geoscience R&D and non-defense discretionary spending account for less than 20 percent of the federal budget and have already absorbed significant reductions over the next decade under the BCA spending caps and other measures. Increasing cuts to these vital R&D programs would mean fewer research grants, fewer student research opportunities, and fewer jobs. Below you will find a sample letter to members of congress urging for a balanced approach to deficit reduction and protection of geoscience R&D that you are encouraged to use or adapt.

Find your district's representative in the House of Representatives here.

Find your state's U.S. senators here.

Example Letter to Representative
Word Document Download

The Honorable [Full Name]
[“United States House of Representatives” OR “United States Senate”]
[Office Number] [Building] [“House Office Building” OR “Senate Office Building”]
Washington, DC [20510 (for Senate) OR 20515 (for House)]

Dear [Congressman Last Name OR Congresswoman Last Name],

As the 113th Congress works to find a balanced and bipartisan path to avoiding sequestration, I ask that you protect science funding, especially geoscience research and development (R&D). Nondefense discretionary accounts make up less than 20 percent of the nation’s budget and have already seen their funding drastically reduced as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and other measures.

Federal support for science and engineering is critical to retain America’s competitiveness, create jobs, and fuel innovation. Geoscience R&D in particular is uniquely fit to address many of society’s demands for natural resources, environmental quality, and resilience to hazards. Further reductions to science funding would negligibly decrease our overall deficit but significantly decrease our global competitive standing.

[Insert how your research/job/education would be impacted].

As your constituent, I ask that you support science funding and work with your colleagues to find a balanced and bipartisan solution to deficit reduction to avoid the sequestration.

Sincerely,
[Name]
[Title]
[Contact Information]

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Letter to Editor Template (updated for January - February 2013)

In addition to sending a letter to members of Congress, geoscientists can submit a letter to the editor of their local newspapers. A letter to the editor is a great opportunity to promote the value of geoscience R&D to our society's critical needs. They can be submitted by anyone though not all letters are printed. Below are three steps provided by the American Geophysical Union's Office of Strategic Communciations and Outreach on submitting a letter to the editor.

1. Review publications in your community to determine which ones accept letters to the editor and their preferred formats. This information can typically be found on the outlet's web site.

2. Prepare a draft. The average letter to the editor should run between 100 and 200 words and the signature should include the author's current professional title. If it is not indicated by their title, the author should also be identified by the type of work he or she does (e.g. an Earth scientist). Use the below draft as a guideline for your letter, adding localized information found in the tables above or quotes from local lawmakers found below in the spaces indicated.

3. Submit the letter. Remember to follow the outlet's established guidelines, which can typically be found on their web site. Submit the letter via the method they specify (e.g. online, via email, etc.). If they ask for your contact infomation and your home address, provide it. And, most importantly, if they give you a word limit, stick to it. By not following these guidelines you limit the chances of having your letter chosen.

Example Letter to the Editor
Word Document Download

As the debate over the nation’s budget continues, it has been very disappointing to see so little news coverage of the threat sequestration poses to investment in scientific research and development.

or

As the debate over the nation’s budget continues, I have been pleased to see the [Paper name]’s coverage of the threat sequestration poses to investment in scientific research and development.

For example, in the [Date and/or Title] story, [Insert an example, either positive or negative, from the outlet’s coverage of the current budget debates (e.g., a story that talks about healthcare, defense spending and the possibility of sequestration, but that does not mention cuts to science research and development that pose direct threats to the scientific community or research and development).  This entire paragraph should not be longer than 60 words.]

Geoscientists are vital contributors to our nation’s economy.  The field of geoscience is essential in order to meet society's demands for natural resources, environmental quality, and resilience to hazards.

The need to reduce the national debt is real, but it shouldn’t be achieved by sacrificing investments in science that will protect public safety, create jobs, and support the nation’s global competitiveness.

Sincerely,

[Name]
[Title and company OR occupation, e.g. Geoscientist, XYZ University]
[Organization, e.g. American Geophysical Union] Member
[Address – Must be within the outlet’s ‘reading area’; preferably home, but work is OK]
[Phone number – Cell is OK]
[Email address – Should be one you check regularly, in case they need to contact you with questions.]

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Quotes on Sequestration

Below are several quotes from lawmakers and the administration that can be used in letters to representatives or in letters to the editor. They are all followed with a link to their sources.

Quotes by members of the Obama Administration
Office of Management and Budget

Quotes by Members of Congress (alphabetical by state)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Kansas
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
New Hampshire
New Mexico

New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Texas
Vermont
Washington

Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients - “In terms of the sequester, it is a bad policy. It's bad policy all around. It would lead to the cuts on the defense side that go across the board or indiscriminant totaling $500 billion. We have similar cuts of similar magnitude on the discretionary side and elsewhere which are not appropriate. So overall, the sequester is bad policy.” http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Year2013Bud

Office of Management and Budget Controller Daniel Werfel - “The president has made clear that Congress can and should act to avoid the sequester. The intention of the sequester was to drive Congress to a compromise through the threat of mutually disagreeable cuts to both defense and non-defense discretionary funding.  If allowed to occur, the sequester would be highly destructive to national security and domestic priorities and core government functions.” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg73858/html/CHRG-112hhrg73858.htm

Alabama - Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) - “The across-the-board cuts that are mandated under sequestration are not the answer to confront our fiscal problems.” http://us-senators.com/2012/07/shelby-statement-on-effects-of-sequestration-at-labor-hhs-hearing/

Alaska - Congressman Don Young (R-AK) - “If sequestration were to become a reality, Alaska would undoubtedly feel much of the pain.” http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/May-2012/House-Votes-to-Stave-Off-Sequester/

Arizona - Senator John McCain (R-AZ) - “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery.”

“Sequestration will endanger the lives of America's service members, threaten our national security, and impact vital domestic programs and services.  Meeting this challenge will require real compromise, and we do not believe that Congress and the president can afford to wait until January to begin to develop a short term or long term sequestration alternative.” http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/bipartisan-group-of-senators-writes-reid-mcconnell_letter-on-sequestration

Arkansas - Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR) - “Sequestration will complicate and weaken an already weak economy.” http://griffin.house.gov/video/house-gop-leadership-press-conference-sequester

California - Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - “No one supports the path we are currently on. The front-loaded spending cuts in the sequester would be a crippling blow to the economy, lead to further job losses, and put more strain on safety net programs, thereby negating the intended debt reduction. I am committed to working with my Senate colleagues to come to a deficit reduction agreement that allows us to prevent sequestration from occuring on January 1, 2013.” http://www.lajobsdefensecouncil.com/senatorfeinsteinletter

Colorado - Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) - On sequestration: “I think there is a general consensus that there's no more time when we can just kick this can down the road and expect the capital markets not to react extremely negatively, which would have a terrible effect on our economy.” http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57524998/transcript-face-to-face-with-sen-bennet/

Connecticut - Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) - “We need to come together sooner rather than later.” http://www.ctmirror.org/story/16996/threat-defense-industry-cuts-already-resulting-layoffs

Delaware - Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) - “The White House’s report on the impacts of the sequester is ugly, as it was supposed to be. The sequester was designed to be an awful solution to an urgent problem — the worst-case scenario for if Congress fails to act responsibly… I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to heed this warning and join me in working seriously on solutions to confront our deficits in a balanced and responsible fashion.” http://www.coons.senate.gov/newsroom/releases/release/statement-from-senator-coons-on-white-house-report-on-impact-of-sequester

Florida - Congressman Allen West (R-FL) - “If the sequestration goes through and automatic across-the-board cuts take effect, national defense and essential domestic programs will be reduced as must (sic) as 10 percent.” http://west.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4626:west-sequestration-bill-passes-house-of-representatives-&catid=73:press-releases

Georgia - Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) - “The sequester was intended to be a sword—a warning hanging over the heads of Congress to ensure that they work in a bipartisan manner to enact a deficit reduction plan. It is an unwise and destructive policy whose potential impact on Southwest Georgia could be significant, causing a ripple effect throughout the local economy, leading to greater unemployment and reduced profits for local businesses.” http://thealbanyjournal.com/2012/08/bishop-chambliss-isakson-scott-talk-of-sequester-impact/

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) - “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that failure to avert the fiscal cliff would send unemployment back up to 9.1 percent and ensure it would remain above 8 percent through 2014.  In addition, the CBO found that the U.S. economy is weaker that it previously reported and that the fiscal cliff would send it back into a recession.” https://kingston.house.gov/forms/form/default.aspx?ID=2216

Hawaii - Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) - “It is essential that discretionary spending not bear the brunt of additional cuts when the true drivers of our deficit spending are mandatory spending and a lack of revenues.” http://www.inouye.senate.gov/news/press-releases/statement-from-senator-inouye-on-the-six-month-cr-agreement

Idaho - Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) - “It is important to remember that the sequester is not intended to be the solution to our debt problem; rather, it is the penalty if Congress fails to act.” http://simpson.house.gov/blog/?postid=308393

Illinois - Congressman Bobby Schilling (R-IL) - “These cuts are avoidable, but only if our leaders put partisan politics aside, come together, and do the job they were elected to do for our community, our state, and the security of our great nation." http://schilling.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=307705

Kansas - Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) - “Sequestration is an irresponsible way of governing and demonstrates that we must restore the leadership and common sense needed to restore fiscal responsibility. We were not elected to ignore these problems, but rather to confront them. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the President to do the job we were elected to do: pass a responsible budget and stick to it.” http://moran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ContentRecord_id=f9db276c-a4f6-48dd-83f6-4e3a348bf160

Maryland - Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) - “If Congress fails to act, in January we will face automatic, indiscriminate cuts to defense and nondefense programs totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that this meat-ax approach to budget cuts is reckless and should be replaced with an alternative method of achieving at least the same amount of deficit reduction—the disagreement lies in how to achieve that savings.” http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-cuts-be-made-to-domestic-social-programs-to-protect-the-defense-budget/will-the-gop-put-tax-cuts-for-the-rich-above-national-security

Massachusetts - Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) - On sequestration: "Massachusetts jobs will be hit hard.  It puts our national security at risk and is a threat to our job creators. Until the leaders in Washington start working together on legislation that improves the economy, addresses our debt and deficit, and creates jobs, rather than placing the needs of their political party ahead of the country, we will continue to get news like we did today (refering to the sequestration report released by the Office of Management and Budget on 9/14/12). When the party leaders step aside and allow us to work in a bipartisan manner, we can get things done.”  http://www.scottbrown.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news?ID=3ee41f50-830a-420e-874e-dea7416f44ef

Michigan - Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) - “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery.”

“Sequestration will endanger the lives of America's service members, threaten our national security, and impact vital domestic programs and services.  Meeting this challenge will require real compromise, and we do not believe that Congress and the president can afford to wait until January to begin to develop a short term or long term sequestration alternative.” http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/bipartisan-group-of-senators-writes-reid-mcconnell_letter-on-sequestration

Minnesota - Congressman Chip Cravaack (R-MN) - “You cut with a scalpel not a meat ax. I’m very concerned by cross-the-board (sic) cuts.” http://brainerddispatch.com/news/political/2012-10-21/cravaack-nations-financial-problems-demand-action-now

Mississippi - Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) - "The stakes are unmistakeably high." http://thehill.com/video/senate/243167-gop-senator-to-obama-step-up-on-sequestration

Missouri - Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) - “Across-the-board cuts are the worst kind of cuts to make. It’s a cut that shows that people are not willing to make the tough decisions that need to be made.” https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/25575/sequestration_would_prompt_defense_cuts

Montana - Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) - “The fiscal crisis would do real damage to our economy and could throw us back into recession.”  http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=8419838f-7623-4e91-8b88-990b22ec6a0b

New Hampshire - Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) - “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery.”

“Sequestration will endanger the lives of America's service members, threaten our national security, and impact vital domestic programs and services.  Meeting this challenge will require real compromise, and we do not believe that Congress and the president can afford to wait until January to begin to develop a short term or long term sequestration alternative.” http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/bipartisan-group-of-senators-writes-reid-mcconnell_letter-on-sequestration

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) - “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery.”

“Sequestration will endanger the lives of America's service members, threaten our national security, and impact vital domestic programs and services.  Meeting this challenge will require real compromise, and we do not believe that Congress and the president can afford to wait until January to begin to develop a short term or long term sequestration alternative.” http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/bipartisan-group-of-senators-writes-reid-mcconnell_letter-on-sequestration

New Mexico - Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) - On sequestration: “It will impact New Mexico. We get a substantial amount of federal funding.” http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2012/08/09/bingaman-nm-would-feel.html?page=all

New York - Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) - "Sequestration is the wrong method to reduce the deficit and was never meant to be triggered." http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2012/10/6538264/never-meant-be-triggered-rally-911-health-money-debt-ceiling-deal-c

North Carolina - Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) - On voting for sequestration: “I look back at it as a big regret.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79578.html

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) - “We have got to sit down at the table, negotiate our difference and come together, and we need to do it as soon as possible." http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79578.html

Representative Larry Kissell (D-NC) - “I voted against this every chance I got. It’s just terrible legislation.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79578.html

North Dakota - Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) - "Both sides will have to move off their fixed positions and find common ground.  Our country’s future economic strength depends on it.”http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/index.cfm/pressreleases---statements?ContentRecord_id=84e6a812-c44f-47fe-8074-170fae99ff91

Ohio - Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) - "I'm not happy with the sequester, the way it's made up...it needs to be replaced." http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june12/johnboehner_02-06.html

Oklahoma - Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) - “I think, honestly, we have a very strong bipartisan agreement that sequester is a very bad policy, something that really shouldn't be allowed to happen.” http://cole.house.gov/cole-calls-sequestration-transparency

Pennsylvania - Congressman Mark Critz (D-PA) - “Congress needs to stop the political games and roll up our sleeves and get to work on a balanced approach to reduce our deficit, protect the middle class, and strengthen our economy." http://critz.house.gov/press-release/critz-statement-republican-sequestration-bill

Rhode Island - Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) - “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery.”

“Sequestration will endanger the lives of America's service members, threaten our national security, and impact vital domestic programs and services.  Meeting this challenge will require real compromise, and we do not believe that Congress and the president can afford to wait until January to begin to develop a short term or long term sequestration alternative.” http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/bipartisan-group-of-senators-writes-reid-mcconnell_letter-on-sequestration

South Carolina - Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery.”

“Sequestration will endanger the lives of America's service members, threaten our national security, and impact vital domestic programs and services.  Meeting this challenge will require real compromise, and we do not believe that Congress and the president can afford to wait until January to begin to develop a short term or long term sequestration alternative.” http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/bipartisan-group-of-senators-writes-reid-mcconnell_letter-on-sequestration

South Dakota - John Thune (R-SD) - “We are repeatedly reminded by all the experts that if we don’t deal with this issue of the fiscal cliff, that it’s going to have a devastating, catastrophic impact on our economy, on our national security, on our country, on the American people.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8RLTgpv29I

Texas - Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) - “There is bipartisan anxiety over those draconian cuts.” http://www.caller.com/news/2012/aug/21/cornyn-voices-concern-about-military-spending/

Vermont - Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) - “There’s no question that the sequester will have an adverse impact on our economy, in Vermont and every other state. It’s a crazy across-the-board meat cleaver approach.” http://vtdigger.org/2012/09/17/federal-budget-cuts-could-have-impact-on-vermont-defense-contractors-in-coming-decade/

Washington - Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -  “Democrats and Republicans need to work together and compromise on a bipartisan plan to avoid the automatic sequestration cuts that would hurt Washington state’s economy.”http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ContentRecord_id=de6e3f45-d4ce-47f5-9493-d5a8595bc35a

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Sources: AAAS R&D Budget Analysis, THOMAS, American Geophysical Union

Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Geoscence Policy at govt@agiweb.org.

Contributed Wilson Bonner, AGI Geoscience Policy Staff and Kathryn Kynett, AAPG/AGI Fall 2012 Intern

Last updated February 5, 2013