Sequestration Primer: How the District Could Be Walloped by Automatic Budget Cuts

The White House released lists for each state of potential effects of automatic spending cuts set for Friday


The White House released lists for each state on Sunday of potential effects of automatic spending cuts set for Friday.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March-September.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

Cuts that could affect the District include:


  • The District of Columbia would lose about $533,000 in funding for primary and secondary education, and about $925,000 in funds for teachers aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Around 500 fewer low-income students in D.C. would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 510 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 200 children in the District.


  • The District would lose about $1 million in environmental funding for clean water and air quality, and another $64,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.


  • Approximately 13,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by a total of about $111.3 million.


  • D.C. would lose about $80,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts; crime prevention and education; crime victim and witness initiatives, and other programs.


  • D.C. would lose about $174,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral and placement.


  • Vaccination funding for children would be cut approximately $25,000. About 370 fewer children would receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B.
  • The District would lose approximately $57,000 to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases and natural disasters.
  • D.C. would also lose about $330,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, and about $324,000 in HIV testing programs, which would result in about 800 fewer tests being administered.
  • The District of Columbia would lose approximately $191,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.


  • The District of Columbia could lose up to $13,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served, the White House said.


Sequestration Primer: Maryland Budget Cuts

Sequestration Primer: Virginia Budget Cuts

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