According to New York Times journalist Jonathan Weisman, when asked whether the next round of sequestration’s automatic, across-the-board cuts will hit come January, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-MD) responded, “I hope it does.”
While sequestration devastated many programs this year and hampered the economy, it will get even worse next year. That’s because many of the accounting tricks and emergency measures agencies used to mute the impact will no longer be available. Some have already had to start absorbing the next round, such as needy school districts that rely on federal aid and Head Start programs.
If sequestration were undone today, it could add as much as 1.2 percent to GDP growth and 1.6 million jobs.
Yet while the cuts were originally designed to be equally unpalatable to both Democrats and Republicans, forcing them to come to a grand bargain on the budget, no agreement was made and the cuts went into effect in March. Republicans originally tried to pin the blame for the cuts on President Obama, but have since embraced them instead as a conservative victory.