Shelby Statement on Effects of Sequestration at Labor-HHS Hearing

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Ranking Member of the Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related
Agencies (Labor/HHS), made the following statement at a Subcommittee hearing on
the effects of sequestration on the Department of Education.



Statement of
Senator Richard C. Shelby

Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies

Effects of
Sequestration on Department of Education

July 25, 2012



““Thank you Mr. Chairman.


“Mr. Secretary, thank you for joining us
to discuss the effects of sequestration on the Department of Education.  I
am disappointed that the Administration to date has not provided Congress any
details on the impact of sequestration. 


“While most of the attention has focused
on the devastating and disproportionate cuts to our national security,
sequestration will cause considerable impact to all parts of our federal
budget.  The across-the-board cuts that are mandated under sequestration
are not the answer to confront our fiscal problems.


“I appreciate the Chairman’s focus on
sequestration and the work of his staff on the sequestration report he is
releasing today.  However, I am concerned this report does not present an
accurate portrayal of the impact of sequestration because we have not been
provided any concrete information by the Administration to make these


“For example, Congress does not know the
amount of the across-the-board cut.  As the Chairman’s report states, it
could be anywhere between 7.8 percent and 8.4 percent.  In real terms,
that is a difference of $1 billion in Labor/HHS program reductions. 


“Second, we have no clarity on what
Labor/HHS programs are exempt from sequestration.  The more programs that
are exempt government-wide, the higher the sequestration percentage


“Third, the report specifies job cuts across programs and states, yet we simply have too little definitive information to know if these numbers are accurate.  The only thing we do know is that agencies, programs, and states will have some flexibility to determine how reductions are taken and that all cuts will not necessarily lead to layoffs. 

“Finally, while the report shows some of
the potential impacts of sequestration, it makes significant assumptions, based
on unknown data, as to how these

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