Region braces for federal spending cuts

Associated Press
Feb. 19, 2013

With the nation hurtling toward yet another key fiscal deadline, defense contractors, research hospitals and social services providers are among those in the New England region sounding the alarm over looming federal spending cuts.

Known in official governmental parlance as the ‘‘sequester,’’ the automatic reductions would be triggered on March 1 absent a deal involving Congress and the White House. With Republicans and Democrats seemingly as entrenched as ever in their respective positions, hopes for a comprehensive budget agreement are fading...

Though predictions of Draconian cuts abound, much uncertainly still surrounds how the sequester would actually roll out. While the spending reductions would be distributed among federal agencies on a more or less equal basis, ‘‘it has yet to be determined at what level of specificity the cuts are taking place,’’ said Shai Akabas, senior policy analyst for the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.

It remains to be seen, Akabas said, just how much discretion will be given to agencies in parceling out the cuts — on an individual basis, therefore, some programs could suffer more than others.