With Congress and the White House failing to reach any agreement to avoid sequestration – government agencies will have to find ways to cut a total of $85 billion from their budgets.
Congress can still stop the automatic across-the-board cuts at any time if an agreement is reached on how to do so. But regardless of how the President and Congress resolve the current battle – it just marks round one of a decade’s worth of annual cuts totaling $1.2 trillion mandated by the sequestration law. For now – the American people are left to wonder how the cuts will be made and how the cuts will ultimately impact their daily lives. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg recently said the spending cuts will result in fewer safety inspections and an increased risk to consumers. The FDA has said the so-called sequestration cuts will mean some 2,100 fewer food safety inspections this year.
The reduced inspections and budget cuts could delay a new food safety law. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor says the agency is trying to find ways to save money as they try to put the law in place – including experimenting with ways to do food safety inspections in shorter periods of time.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had previously stated the across-the-board cuts would affect meat inspection.