The threat of sequestration became reality in August 2011 when Congress passed, and the President signed, the Budget Control Act. In exchange for raising the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid default on the government’s obligations, the law called for federal program spending cuts to reduce the federal budget deficit.
The law established a bipartisan committee of House and Senate members charged with identifying and reaching agreement on programs to be cut. However, the so-called "Super Committee" failed to reach consensus by the November 2011 deadline, triggering a provision of the Act requiring across-the-board mandatory budget cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Barring action by Congress and the Administration to repeal or delay the sequestration between now and the end of the year, it will take effect on January 2, 2013.
NLC has developed materials to illustrate the urgency of preventing sequestration and to assist members with advocacy efforts in coming weeks before members of Congress.
On December 12, NLC leaders went to the White House to hear from President Obama on the local implications of the fiscal cliff and the need for swift action. "We appreciate the President's attention to the local impacts of the fiscal cliff," said President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale, Arizona. "We are pleased that he and Speaker Boehner agree with us in calling for a balanced approach to solve the impending fiscal cliff."
On November 8, NLC hosted a free webinar discussing the details of the sequestration process and how city leaders from across the country can join together to urge Congress to find a bipartisan and balanced solution to reducing the deficit. [PRESENTATION]
NLC sent a letter calling on the House and Senate to adopt a bipartisan, balanced deficit reduction plan to avoid the harm to local economies and communities that would result from implementing sequestration. Join a free webinar, November 8 to learn more about the sequestration process.
NLC opposes the draconian cuts and instead is calling on Congress to take action to prevent the cuts from taking effect. "Cities acknowledge the need to bring the federal budget into balance, but relying on blunt instruments like the across-the-board cuts is no substitute for governing," said NLC President Ted Ellis. "Members of Congress need to step up and do their jobs as legislators, just as mayors and council members do at the local level all the time, and not let the consequences of inaction be the rule of the day."