Stop the sequestration

On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to come up with a short-term fix to impending automatic cuts to the federal budget. The president asked for a combination of spending cuts and increased revenue to keep the government operating and the economy going until a more permanent fix is negotiated. As part of a deal struck between the White House and Congress in 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011 would cause automatic cuts to nearly all federal programs, including the Defense Department, at the beginning of March. The cuts will mean lost jobs and less money being spent to help grow the economy.

The Task Force has opposed across the board indiscriminate cuts called for in the Budget Control Act. The cuts in non-defense discretionary programs will have consequences for all Americans, but will have a particularly acute impact on LGBT people and their families.

Because LGBT people statistically have poorer health, lower income and fewer resources to protect against economic hardship, any cuts to federal programs serving marginalized communities will disproportionately harm them. Caught in the Budget Battle: How the ‘Fiscal Showdown’ Impacts Gay and Transgender Americans, a report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Center for American Progress, shows how these cuts will particularly affect LGBT people and their families in a range of areas.

As Obama did this week, this report calls for a balanced and fair approach to raising revenue and eliminating wasteful spending as necessary to protect vital funding for programs and services. The president is asking Congress to pass a short-term bill that will raise revenue and address cuts before March 1st, and delay the sequestration for a few more months. This will delay the cuts, and give Congress the chance to craft a budget that protects marginalized communities that benefit from federal programs.