October 19, 2012
Thanks for your continued feedback on sequestration. This week we are listing cuts from the remainder of the report, which covers Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, Veterans Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. If you would like to review previous listings, please visit my website at http://capuano.house.gov/e-updates.
As you review the list, keep in mind that federal programs will be subject to an 8.2% cut in 2013 and additional cuts each year for the next nine years. It is not clear yet how deep the cuts will be in future years. Some programs will be cut more than 8.2% and some will be cut less. The full report on the impact of sequestration prepared by the Office of Management and Budget can be found here: http://democrats.budget.house.gov/publication/omb-report-pursuant-sequestration-transparency-act-2012.
The programs below are listed by Department, in the order that they appear in the OMB report.
Department of the Interior
- National Park Service: $218 million
The National Park Service (NPS) maintains and manages the countryís network of national parks. The NPS also works with local communities through grants and direct assistance to preserve local recreational spaces as well as historically significant properties.
Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigation: $742 million
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a law enforcement agency that protects the United States from all types of criminal activity, from terrorist threats to cyber-security breaches. The FBI gathers intelligence and supports local law enforcement when necessary.
- Office of Justice Programs: $222 million
These programs include assistance for state and local law enforcement activities, juvenile justice programs, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, and violence against women prevention programs. The Office of Justice Programs acts as a resource for states and municipalities, providing grants and technical assistance.
Department of Labor
- Employment and Training Administration: $1.99 billion
This agency offers job training and employment services, through local grants as well as technical assistance. It also provides assistance to veterans, young people entering the work force and seniors seeking employment.
Department of State
- Administration of Foreign Affairs: $1.2 billion
These funds are used for diplomatic programming, embassy construction and maintenance, and embassy security. This is not a good time to cut back on security for US diplomats abroad.
Department of Transportation
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): $1.03 billion
The FAA oversees our nationís airports. The agency provides airport improvement grants, oversees airport safety and manages air traffic at our airports.
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): $663 million
The FHWA provides funding and technical assistance to states and municipalities for maintenance, design and construction issues related to our roads and highways.
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA): $180 million
The FTA provides grants and technical assistance to states and municipalities for transit projects, including maintenance, construction and expansion.
Department of Treasury
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS): $1.318 billion
The IRS oversees the filing of federal tax returns, managing payments and sending out refunds. The IRS provides taxpayer assistance services and helps filers navigate the process.
Army Corps of Engineers
- Civil Works: $605 million
The Army Corps of Engineers oversees flood control projects, enhances the environment by cleaning contaminated sites and conducts restoration efforts after natural disasters such as hurricanes. They are carrying out the work I wrote about recently to restore the Muddy River in Boston.
Environmental Protection Agency
- State and Tribal Assistance; Environmental Programs and Management: $513 million
The EPA works to identify and reduce environmental risks and protect natural resources. Environmental risks can seriously damage human health and the EPA works to protect us all by reducing those environmental hazards.
National Science Foundation
- $586 million
This agency provides federal funding for basic research in our institutes of higher learning. Basic research often leads to important discoveries. This funding also creates jobs in new technologies that result from innovation.
As you can see, sequestration will impact our economy, the budgets of states and municipalities and so many worthwhile programs. Since these cuts are expected to come every year for ten years, the impact will be far worse than detailed above.
To underscore the depth of these cuts, I am repeating my example from an earlier newsletter. If your family spent $100 on food last week and that expenditure was subject to sequestration at 8.2%, then you will have only $91.80 to spend on food next week. Your family would be the same size and the need for food the sameĖ the only change is the amount of money you have to spend. If that same cut comes each week for ten weeks then by the end of the tenth week you would have only $42.50 to spend on food and your grocery needs would be the same. Congress returns on November 13th. I will keep you informed as the debate over sequestration continues.
City Fresh Foods
I met this week with staff at City Fresh Foods in Roxbury, a meal preparation company led by brothers Glen and Sheldon Lloyd. I toured their new facility and learned more about the work they do preparing nutritious meals and snacks. City Fresh prepares and delivers more than 8,000 meals a day to schools, seniors and child care centers. They have had great success over the years and I was very impressed with the efficiency of their operation. I enjoyed my time talking with staff and learning more about the work that they do.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
I met this week with John Barros, Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and his great staff. The DSNI is a non-profit organization focused on the Roxbury and North Dorchester neighborhoods. It was founded as a way to advance neighborhood revitalization. Its partners include local residents, businesses, religious institutions, other non-profits and many other organizations. The good work of the DSNI has resulted in the reclamation of acres of blighted land, transforming many of them into homes, schools, playgrounds and community spaces. I talked with John and his staff about many of the economic development initiatives that the DSNI is currently working on. I also went for a walk in the neighborhood to see some of the work of the DSNI, including their community greenhouse. I learned about the harvesting schedule at the greenhouse, and about the seasonal produce grown. Some of that is sold to area restaurants. We also stopped by the farmland used by Project Bread, an organization that works to alleviate hunger. They hire and train young people who work with staff to market produce at local farmers markets. This promotes access to healthy, fresh produce grown close to home.
Hyde Park Main Streets
I spent some time this week with Hyde Park Main Streets participants, visiting some businesses on Fairmont Avenue and River Street. I had a great visit with one restaurant owner, who owns the newest business in the Hyde Park Main Streets family. I spent time at some other local businesses, including the local barber shop and the historic Riverside Theatre.
Dudley Square Main Streets
I also participated in a walking tour of another Main Streets initiative, in Dudley Square. I talked with business owners about how they were faring in the economy and received updates about some local projects, including the Ferdinand, a major construction undertaking in Dudley Square. I appreciated the hospitality in both Hyde Park and Dudley Square.