The Sequester’s Impact on the Quad Cities

The Sequester is now in effect. Officials say we may not see any changes immediately, but in the weeks ahead, Americans will start seeing reduced government services and tens of thousands of federal employees will start facing furlough days.
On Friday, March 1st, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the bill that cuts $85 billion in federal spending. As a result, 800,000 civilian defense department employees can expect to get furlough notices at the end of the month. That could also include employees at the Rock Island Arsenal.
The Sequester will also impact national parks. For example, at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, no workers will be hired for the busy summer season.
Spending on education programs, like Head Start, as well as health services for low-income families will also get cut.

Sequestration is described as “across the board cuts,” but it doesn’t tough everything. Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, and Veterans Affairs programs are exempt.

However, it could impact your travel plans. One place where you’ll see changes caused by The Sequester is the airport. On Saturday, March 2nd, 2013, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos visited the Quad City International Airport to talk about the impact on local travelers. Furloughs and cuts are expected to cause longer lines and cancelled or delayed flights. Bustos says she doesn’t expect it to directly affect QCIA, but there could be a trickle-down effect.

“Are they going to be able to make it to their trip? Are they going to be able to make it to their business meeting? That is what something like sequestration has led to – the uncertainty, not only on their pocketbooks but in planning for their business or leisure,” Bustos said today.

TSA has released a statement saying if sequestration goes into effect, it will put in place a hiring freeze.