So what is sequestration?
According to USA.gov:
"Sequestration, sometimes called the sequester, is a process that automatically cuts the federal budget across most departments and agencies.
Congress included the threat of sequestration in the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a way to encourage compromise on deficit reduction efforts.
Congress couldn’t agree on a budget by the deadline set in the Budget Control Act, so mandatory budget cuts were scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013.
Congress stopped the cuts from happening by passing the American Taxpayer Relief Act on January 2. This law pushed the budget cuts back until March 1, 2013.
If Congress cannot agree on a budget to reduce the deficit by March 1, then sequestration would happen and $85 billion in spending cuts would go into effect." See more here.
Who will it affect?
While sequestration will affect much more than the DoD budget (our education system, our public service system: Police, Fire, Emergency Services, and any other Federally covered programs that rely on a promised budget), as members of the Armed Forces, we will most likely be the hardest hit, despite the assumption that sequestration is supposed to be proportionate across the board.
Much speculation has been given to how the DoD will be affected on March 1 and afterward until Congress (both parties) decide to do their jobs and take care of the budget issues.
According to National Military Family Association, the DoD is facing budget cuts of almost $55 billion dollars. While some areas are surely to be affected (wartime funding), many more DoD related areas are not as clear.
How soon will we see the effects?
Different articles say different things. One thing is for sure, if Congress doesn't get its act together, sequestration goes into effect on Friday, March 1, 2013. How soon we will see the effects of it is hard to tell. Most articles seem to think that a ball has to start rolling, so changes won't be noticed until April 2013.
What can we do?
Now while our the President is going around scaring the heebie-jeebies out of people about the potential loss of jobs, as he did in Newport News, Virginia several days ago, there are some things that we can do to make our voices heard.
The National Military Family Association encourages us all to get involved. Please take a few minutes to email or call your Congress man or woman. We need to make our voices heard, and we need to be heard loud and clear!
To contact your Congressman, please visit http://www.contactingthecongress.org/; Your House Representative, please visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Keep in mind, no matter how rough life gets for us, no matter how little the government cares for the sacrifices we make as Military Members, as Military Spouses (and family members), and as Military Veterans, there is One who has not forgotten us. Even as you contact your Politicians, please also send up some prayers the His will be done, and that He keep His Hand on us and our families.