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Impact of Sequester on Arkansas

Unless Congress takes action, this Friday several automatic government budget cuts go into effect.
Unless Congress takes action, this Friday several automatic government budget cuts go into effect.

Sunday, the White House released state specific information about the sequester, and it reveals children and seniors in Arkansas are set to take a big hit.

Both Democrats and Republicans agree the $85 billion in mandatory, across-the-board cuts this fiscal year will harm the economy and national security.

Republican Senator John McCain wants to negotiate across the aisle to avoid that.

"That's exactly what we should be doing, and I won't put all the blame on the President of the United States. But the President leads. The President should be calling us over somewhere, Camp David, the White House, somewhere, and us sitting down and trying to avert these cuts," says McCain.

Sunday night, the White House released information showing how the sequester would impact each state.

Arkansas will lose around $5.6 million in funds for about seventy teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately six-hundred Arkansas children.

Approximately 4,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed in Arkansas.

And, Arkansas would lose approximately $310,000 in funds which provide meals for seniors.

Governor Mike Beebe reacted to the possible cuts this weekend.

“Sequestration doesn't affect a lot of the major programs, so that means a hundred percent of all the cuts end up coming from a very select group of programs. I think we're willing to suffer a little bit, we just don't want to suffer disproportionately compared to the rest of the country," says Beebe.
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