More Sequestration Fallout
More Sequestration Fallout plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.
So how did the first Monday after sequestration kicked is size up around the country? Most jobs being affected won’t end for about 2 weeks and others 30 days. But if Congress does not act and the full affects are felt it could have some far reaching ramifications that you might not think about like fishing. How could the government sequester possibly affect fishing? Anyone who fishes in federal waters must have an inspector on-board to make sure crews keep within federal regulations. Funding for those inspectors could disappear, at least partially, if the budget-gutting sequester takes full effect.
And then there are things like apples. Yes, even apples can be affected according to Todd Fryhover with the Washington Apple Commission.
FRYHOVER: It has little affect to us here at the Washington Apple Commission but we do participate in the Market Access Program and that’s administered through the Foreign Agricultural Service and they are talking about the possibility of furlough’s which could mean that employees of the Foreign Agricultural Service who typically work a standard work week like we do, 5 days a week, they might have to move back to 4 days a week so it could slow down our processing.
Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.
With the sequestration budget cuts taking affect the ag industry is greatly concerned about how the USDA is going to be able to handle furloughs of meat inspectors. Livestock analysts report that the USDA is contractually obliged to give meat inspectors a thirty day notice of any furloughs, and if the agency is forced to implement those furloughs, it would more than likely do so by staggering the layoffs. That way production would be limited but not stopped in its tracks. In the meantime, the FDA is declaring that sequestration budget cuts could result in over two thousand fewer food safety inspections this year, bringing with it an increase in food safety risks for consumers. Interestingly, several Republican Representatives call the deep sequestration budget cuts nothing more than “modest” reductions, and that they’re not sure they will actually hurt the economy. Now we are all waiting to see what Congress will do by its second deadline, March 27, dealing with the question of funding the government. I’m not normally a betting person, but I would lay ten to one that Congress will be much more motivated to act before this newest deadline takes effect. The idea of shutting down the entire federal government scares both sides far more than sequestration ever could.
Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.