It's Sequester Day. Now What?

FlickrSo it looks like this sequester is probably going to be happening.

The president has until 11:59 p.m. tonight to issue a sequestration order, and at this point, it doesn't look like any last-minute deals are being made.

But if the sequester does go into effect, what does that really mean for us?

We've given you the big picture and now it's time to talk about the details -- what's next for you and your family.

Here goes ...

At some point today, the Office of Management and Budget will direct all federal agencies to cut their budgets by 9 percent. The Pentagon must cut its budget by 13 percent. The president has to sign this order to make it official and he has until midnight to do so. His spokesperson says he'll wait until the last possible moment to sign.

That means that legislators still have time to do something to stop this, even if they just pass a resolution that gives them more time to talk. But some Republicans are hoping for a sequester in order to cut the budget, and a last-minute deal is looking unlikely. The House has gone home for the weekend, and the Senate doesn't seem inclined to do anything either. Here's what Rep. Senator Mitch McConnell had to say this morning:

We promised the American people that we would cut Washington spending, and the President signed those cuts into law. Republicans have offered the President numerous solutions, including the flexibility he needs to secure those reductions more intelligently. I'm happy to discuss other ideas to keep our commitment to reducing Washington spending at today's meeting. But there will be no last-minute, back-room deal and absolutely no agreement to increase taxes.

So what does this mean for us? Are we going to, like, go to the post office on Monday and find it shut down? Well, no. It's going to take a while for these cuts to affect most of us directly. Here's the skinny, according to The Atlantic Wire:

It takes 30 to 60 days for the government to lay anyone off, so no one is losing their job this weekend. Services may be scaled back at National Parks and museums, but as long as they are open visitors will see it as more of an annoyance than a disaster. The pain will be slow and subtle and develop over weeks, not hours. The worst consequences may not even be known after they've already happened.

In other words, don't panic just yet. However, agencies could start handing out furlough notices as soon as March 4, giving workers 30-day notice in some cases that they might not have a job anymore.

Let's hope the men and women on Capitol Hill can stop playing games and get this thing figured out SOON.

Do you think the sequester will REALLY happen? How do you anticipate it affecting your life?

Want to debate this issue with other moms? Join our Moms Matter Facebook page, where there's always passionate conversation going on about the issues that moms care about most!


Image via Sankar Govind/Flickr

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wamom223 wamom223

The President created this mess and it is disgusting that he is unwilling to take responsibility.  Anyone that dares to point out how often and how public the President has lied about this issue is vilified in the media and that should scare the hell out of everyone.  This crap he spouts about wanting a balanced approach is ridiculous when the increase in spending always far outnumbers the cuts.  What is sad is that this is just asking the government to spend the same amount of money they spent last year and that should be no problem at all.  These are scare tactics about the jobs because their are plenty of places to cut that will not effect any one's jobs but the President believes the country is full of idiots and they are proving him right.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

Who cares WHOSE fault it is??? All I care about is that DoD employees are taking a TWENTY PERCENT pay cut for this...and guess what? Many of us WILL have to take government assistance just to stay afloat!

Veronica Bulla

The president did not CREATE this mess. The unwillingness of our so called public servants to serve America and not their cronies in their quest for power and money, the ridiculous idea that we can't close corporate tax loopholes to increase revenue, in addition to Americans being ignorant and lazy about the issues and simply listening to "their" side instead of the truth...that's in part what has gotten us here. I am sick and tired of the finger pointing and lack of accountability from all sides of this debate. Ego, lies, selfishness and fear mongering is all that Washington has offered us all in the name of ideology that comes from a place of fear that someone else is getting something you aren't and the fallacy that there is not enough for everyone. wamom223 - you are simply wrong and you really should check your facts - try and BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME...EQUALLY. And why hasn't the media covered the plan that would force both sides to give equally? See the plan that arrived DOA in congress INFORM YOURSELF and take the time to listen to all sides of the argument because that is the only way to find you way to the TRUTH.

wamom223 wamom223

This was the President's idea and he did sign it.  Even Democratic Senators admit this.  I go to multiple news sites a day both conservative and liberal and can say from what I read this falls at the Presidents door.  He is the one that decides what gets cuts and you are playing into his hand and doing exactly what he wants you to do which is to be a useful idiot.  I know where the Republicans are responsible and this one does not fall at their door.  We have brought the biggest tax hike in history down on American Business and we would be fine with closing those loop holes if the President was willing to cut more money but  he isn't.    No one has to lose jobs, there is money to cut but they don't want to.  If you lose your job over this it is the President's fault and no one else's.  Oh I take that bake I do blame Harry Reid for not passing a budget in four years and Nancy Pelosi for lying to the American people and telling them the government doesn't have a spending problem.  Spending has went up over 80% in the last four years and there is no excuse for that. And FYI fact check may say they are non partisan but that is bs.  Every one leans one side or another these days.

wamom223 wamom223

Oh and Veronica as you feel so passionate about closing corporate loop holes I am so curious about how you felt about Obama not only giving Facebook a free pass on taxes but actually giving them tax payer's money?  I do not bow to the alter of Obama or to any Republican and I look at this as a business owner, and as an American that wants to know the truth however uncomfortable it may be.  While I am willing to admit the Republicans do not have a good leader I am pleased that McConnell and Boehner didn't bow down to Obama on this one.  For someone that says she wants to listen to both sides you sound like every other Obama kool-aid drinker I've seen on this site.

Stephanie Anne-Marie Miracle

omg lets not play the blame game. our goverment has been a mess since bush was in there plan and simple. NOONE could have fixed it by this point. Obama gets shit bc he does more for familys than he does for rich bitches who think theyre entitled to everything. But the point is BLAME doesnt get you anywhere.

nonmember avatar Dee

I much prefer Obama to any of the Republicans generally but I have to go with the Republicans on this one. There is too much gov't waste and there are plenty of folks who should get pay cuts. I have found very little to like about the Republicans for many years, but when they're, they're right. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day!

wamom223 wamom223

Wow Stephanie I could have taken you seriously until you blamed Bush, now that is getting old after four years.  You are a perfect example of the kind of people that voted for this blow hard.  You all think he is such a good leader but the rest of us are waiting for him to stop campaigning and start leading.  It is so sad that you people are having such a hard time defending this but still bow to the altar of Obama.

Cynthia Parten

Democrats blame Republicans and Republicans blame Democrats. They are BOTH to blame here. My husband is an employee of the Federal Government and I am scared to death that this sequester will require him to take an unpaid furlough. THAT is what I am concerned about. Both sides need to come together for the sake of the economy and compromise!

wamom223 wamom223

The Republicans caved during the last fiscal debate and  hardly and cuts were made.  They should not bow down to the President and the President should not put any jobs on the line.  There are plenty of places to make cuts in our government to make that wouldn't risk a job(lets start with the Congress's brand new pay raise, and then tell Eric Holder to quit putting his private jet rides on the American people, and lets cut the waste we know is there) and its sad Cynthia that the President would let someone like your husband be used as a pawn in his little game.  I told my Republican Congresswoman not to cave to more increase in spending that will kill more small business. 

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