What does the fiscal cliff matter to people with disabilities?

The “fiscal cliff” deal on New Year’s Day postponed many of the very hard decisions on stabilizing the nation’s fiscal situation, but there are still two outstanding matters that will come before Congress in the next few weeks.

The first is the across-the-board cut to most disability programs and the other is the federal fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills. Here’s a summary of the debate ahead in March:

  • March 1, 2013: Across-the-board cuts (or sequester) to almost all federal programs goes into effect. Nearly all programs — including early intervention and special education — will be cut equally by approximately 5%. Unless Congress and the president reach an agreement within the next three weeks, these cuts will be implemented.
  • Mid-March: The president will release a proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 and both the House and Senate have agreed to pass budgets this year. These activities are aligned with the standard federal budget process. The budgets do not have the force of law but do allow the president and Congress to establish their priorities.
  • March 27, 2013: The current funding law expires on March 27, 2013 and
    Congress must take action to continue to fund the federal government through September 30, 2013. If Congress does not act by March 27, the federal government must shut down.

At every stage of the debate, Easter Seals is working with other advocates to convince Congress to take a more thoughtful and needs-based approach to reaching long-term financial security that does not disproportionately harm children and adults with disabilities and their families. TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to vote to STOP the across-the-board cuts set for March 1 and preserve critical funding for the life-changing programs that support families with disabilities!


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  1. Alan Katzer Says:

    I think congress and senate are very disrespectful on dealing with people living with disabilites and the budget. They need to stop bickering and get this thing done.

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