It’s all over but the shouting. The sequester will go through tomorrow. Now we won’t feel the effects immediately and that might make some people downplay the sequestration process. That would be silly, as silly as acting like it’s the end of the world. It’s neither. But it will hurt the economy if it is allowed to go on unabated.
But even though sequestration kicks in tomorrow at 11:59 pm, the sequestration legislation news is not over, not by a long shot. Much of the negative effect of the sequester can be done away with after it kicks in, which will guarantee more news about this subject from a legislative angle until some good middle ground between the two parties can be had. Just like any other law, it can be changed, altered, even repealed should the need arise. And I can think of no better thing to change, alter and even repeal than the sequestration.
And the effect could be almost completely ameliorated if fixed quickly. If the congress gets on this next week, if not next week then relatively quickly then the sequester will have had almost no impact. Not no impact, almost. There have already been effects.
The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman is supposed to be on duty in the Persian gulf right now, but has been held in port thanks to the sequester. It was actually supposed to have been there for a few weeks but has been held here until the sequester is dealt with.
Hundreds of illegal immigrants have been freed thanks to the sequester. OK, technically it’s a work release program, but they are out of jail.
But the amount of veteran funerals at Arlington national cemetery, which will with sequestration be cut from 31 a day to 24, could be kept to a minimum if congress works on this next week. As could the furloughing of thousands of federal employees, and all the other cuts to spending in all facets of government, military and non military alike.
The congress is not in session tomorrow, which is why there is no chance of sequestration being avoided.
Any chance of avoiding that fate went out the window today when both the Republican and Democratic sequester replacements were voted down in the Senate. The Republican replacement bill lost 38-62, and the Democratic replacement lost 51-49. Yes, a majority vote lost. Sad that in American politics today, a vote that normally would be enough to win couldn’t because Harry Reid didn’t have the nerve to alter the Senate rules so it could actually get work done. But that is another story for another time.
The moral of the story: There is still hope of avoiding the worst of the effects of the sequester, despite it’s actually being here.
We’ll see what John Boehner, Harry Reid and their compatriots can get done.