Sequester would mean job losses

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In just over a week, automatic budget cuts kick in on the federal level, which could put the United States in serious financial trouble.

President Barack Obama and Congress need to reach a deal by March 1st to stop what is being called the "sequester." At stake are cutbacks to almost every government agency, and many federal workers would lose their jobs.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the vast majority of the defense department's 800,000 civilian workers would be affected. It could mean they'd lose a day of work per week, or 20 percent of their pay, for up to 22 weeks.

The automatic budget cuts would add up to around $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

Senator Charles Schumer said, "Federal workers of different types here in Buffalo. We could lose civilian workers who work for the military. You could lose some people on Border Patrol, which we have because we're on the Canadian border. It would hurt our schools' federal aid to our local schools, whether they be suburban or city, would be greatly hurt. We would lose people - you name it, across the board. Anything that's federal would be hurt."

Here's a full explanation of just what the sequester means for the United States.

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