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The Barack Obama-Rick Scott sequestration blame files: HUD, DOD, HHS cuts


Two days ago, Gov. Rick Scott wrote President Obama attacking the Democrat for the federal-spending cuts known as the sequestration:

"If your administration fails to do its job to responsibly manage the budget, thousands of Floridians will lose their jobs under sequestration. There is no doubt that budget cuts must be made at the national level, just as we do here at the state level. But, it is the responsibility of the administration to administer spending reductions responsibly. Instead of cutting with a scalpel, your sequestration process is a meat cleaver..."

Now, the administration is responding with a series of blame-Congress letters. Under the 2011 debt deal hammered out between Obama and Congress, the sequestration cuts kicked in because Congress couldn't come up with a deficit-reduction agreement.

Scott's administration was today sent multiple letters concerning cuts to Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and Housing and Urban Development. A sample from the HHS letter:

"As you are likely aware, due to the failure of Congress to reach a deal on balanced deficit reduction to avoid sequestration, a series of spending cuts called sequestration will cancel approximately $85 billion in budgetary resources across the federal government for the remainder of the federal fiscal year….

"In the context of sequestration, an estimated 2,700 children in your state are expected to lose access to head Start and Early Head Start services as a result of a reduction of $15.8 million in funding. The funding reduction could disrupt services for children and families, as some Head Start centers would need to close their classrooms early this school year or reopen their programs late in the fall. Programs may have to cut services, staff, and classrooms of the current school year in order to operate under the reduced funding level. This impact would be felt by community and faith-based organizations, small businesses, local governments, and school systems forced to lay off teachers, teacher assistants, and other staff."

Earlier, Scott in Orlando said the first cuts should be experienced by Obama and Congress:

“You know right now, this is the first day of sequestration. I don’t believe Congress or the President should continue to get paid while they haven’t solved this problem. We’ve had to balance our budget in our state. We’ve had to watch how we spend money. We’ve had to live within our means. And we didn’t do it with a meat cleaver; we did it with a scalpel. We watched what we could do agency by agency. The federal government needs to do the same thing. They should not be paid while they don’t solve this problem.”

And on it goes.

The letters:

Download Letter to President Obama

Download DOD

Download HHS

Download HUD