(CBS NEWS) -- Three weeks after sequestration officially became the law of the
land, debate over the issue has slowed to a trickle: The Obama
administration has conceded that the across-the-board budget cuts are
likely here for awhile, and Republicans are split over whether or not
that's a good thing or a bad thing. But even as the long-term economic
impacts of sequestration remain murky, its day-to-day impacts are
becoming increasingly evident.
CBSNews.com rounds up a handful of sequestration's impacts to date, from
widespread staff furlough notices, to canceled White House visitor
tours, to a reduction in early education opportunities for low-income
Because the government mandates that federal employees receive a
month's notice before being furloughed, none of the planned furloughs
have yet gone into effect. But across the federal government, thousands
of workers have been notified that their hours - and their pay - are
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued furlough notices to approximately 2,000 employees, who will be required to take up to 11 days of unpaid leave between April 7 and September 30.
The Department of Defense sends out its first furlough notices Friday. A
spokeswoman for the department said last month nearly all 800,000
civilian employees would be furloughed one day per week.
notices have been sent out at the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), proposing furloughs of 13 days or less for employees over the
next seven months as a result of sequestration.
- The U.S.
Department of Agriculture will furlough 6,200 food inspectors for 11
days this summer, starting in July, according to the Iowa Farmer Today.
The USDA says that would disrupt meat exports to the tune of $8
billion. A spending bill passed in the Senate Wednesday would provide
$55 million to the USDA through September to help avoid these furloughs.
The money will be allocated if the House passes the bill today and then
gets signed into law by the president.
- The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has also scheduled its furloughs, according to
Fox News Latino, which reports that all 60,000 full-time employees will
be furloughed for no more than 14 days starting on April 21.
Department of Defense cites a generally "insidious degradation" of the
entire department's capabilities as a result of sequestration, but
according to reports, some programs have already taken a hit:
Earlier this month, the Army announced it would be suspending a tuition
assistance program for soldiers enrolling in classes as a result of
sequester cuts. According to USA Today, 250,000 troops will subsequently
be denied tuition for enrollment. The Marine Corps, too, has cut its
program. However, a spending bill passed by the Senate Wednesday would,
if approved by the House today, restore funding for this program through
the end of September.
- Scholarships for the children of troops who were slain in combat have also been slashed as a result of sequestration, according to ABC News. Going forward, the so-called Iraq and Afghanistan War Grants will be reduced by 37.8 percent.
- According to
Maryland's Fort Stewart Patch, the Army's community outreach efforts
have slowed down dramatically at Fort Meade, a military installation in
Maryland. The Fort Stewart Patch reports that aerial demonstrations and
military open houses will be put on hold as of April 1, and the Army
Parachute Team will stop performing publicly for the remainder of the
- The Air Force Thunderbirds, the Nevada-based air
demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force, is also grounded
as of April 1.
- House members will also be banned from using military aircraft for trips, according to House Speaker John Boehner.
are notifying unemployment claimants that Federal Emergency
Unemployment Compensation (EUC) will be cut beginning in. In
Pennsylvania, for example, EUC payments will be reduced by 10.7 percent.
many of sequestration's impacts won't effect education until the next
fiscal year, Head Start programs - which provide early education
opportunities for lower-income kids - have started reducing their
services all across the country:
- According to
the Indiana Journal Gazette, "At least two Indiana Head Start programs
have resorted to a random drawing to determine which three-dozen
preschool students will be removed from the education program for
low-income families," for purposes of managing budget cuts.
Pennsylvania, the funding cuts have limited in the amount of food and
supplies Head Start programs are able to provide, and curbed their
abilities to buy fuel for buses and transportation, according to the Pennsylvania Daily Review.
- Head Start programs in Florida and Tennessee have reported similar transportation cuts.
A handful of other programs have been hit as well, from nuclear plants to the National Weather Service.
- According to the Associated Press, almost
250 people were laid off this week at Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the
nation's most contaminated nuclear site, thanks to sequester-related
cuts. 2,500 more employees were given furlough notices of "several
- Politico reports
that the National Archives will be limiting their hours to researchers
starting Friday in order to avoid sequester-related furloughs.
- Last week, the National Weather Service announced a mandatory spending freeze to management positions, as well as management travel and training.