The budget debacle in Washington known as sequestration remains a mystery to much of the public. It’s not surprising given that — up until a few months ago — many senior policymakers in DC were holding firm to a belief that a last minute budget deal would be reached and the policy would never be implemented. Even today, nearly three months after the President was forced to sign an order setting the sequester into motion, federal agencies are struggling to finalize their plans for implementation. As a result, many of the consequences of sequestration remain unclear to those who will be directly impacted. What is clear is that, without a public push to develop an alternative, Congress is not likely to change course in time for the upcoming fiscal year.
A coalition of advocates representing communities impacted by sequestration continues to work on public and legislative messaging, as well as to capture the real impacts of the policy. The coalition, NDD (Non-Defense Discretionary) United, now consists of over 3,200 groups -including AADR. As mentioned on the coalition’s website, NDD programs are core functions of government and now exist at historic lows as a percentage of GDP, yet they continue to serve as targets for budget reduction. Today, NDD United released a short video that captures our current budget dilemma in a “just the basics” format. Groups and individuals are encouraged to share the video with their personal and professional contacts. A base level of understanding among the general public would be a significant step forward in the campaign to develop a well balanced alternative.