American Society of Hematology

Threat of Sequester Continues; Impact on NIH Would Be Devastating

Published on: July 26, 2012

On July 25, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, released a report on the impact of sequestration (across the board cuts on all domestic and defense discretionary programs mandated by last year's Budget Control Act unless the Congress reduces the deficit) on various health, labor, and education programs, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The report includes a state-by-state breakdown of the impact of cuts. As Senator Harkin explains:

So far, we've heard a great deal about sequestration's impact on Pentagon spending. The defense industry has highlighted the potential impacts of an across-the-board cut on defense-related jobs and services. Some Members of Congress are now demanding that we exempt the Pentagon from sequestration, either by finding offsets for the defense cuts only, or by making nondefense programs bear the full brunt of the entire $1.2 trillion in cuts. 

But sequestration wouldn't apply only to defense. It would also have destructive impacts on the whole array of Federal activities that promote and protect the middle class in this country – everything from education to job training, medical research, child care, worker safety, food safety, national parks, border security and safe air travel. These essential government services directly touch every family in America, and they will be subject to deep, arbitrary cuts under sequestration. 

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