An Agriculture Department email has added fuel to the sequester cuts debate. The leaked email from the Obama administration is drawing backlash for infusing politics into the way federal budget cuts are managed.
The leaked Agriculture Department email first began circulating through Capitol Hill offices on Monday. The sequester cuts online communication was reportedly sent by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Director Charles Brown. The North Carolina-based government staffer was informing his regional offices about the directive he was given regarding sequester cuts.
The Obama administration email is reportedly a response to a question posed about how much latitude Brown’s agency had when deciding where to slash his operating budget. The response shown in the published versions of the online missive state, “However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”
Also noted in the email was a reminder that the Obama administration had already informed congress that APHIS would terminate assistance to the aquaculture industry in 24 states. Arkansas Republican Representative Tim Griffin feels the leaked Agriculture Department email solidifies the belief that stated sequester cuts were not allowed to be replaced with less “onerous” ones.”
Representative Griffin issued a release stating that the Obama administration email proves what many Americans already suspected. The Arkansas lawmaker also noted that the White House is doing everything possible to make sure the fiscal doomsday predictions actually come to pass.
The Republican also feels that the Obama administration is trying to maximize the pain of the sequester cuts for political gain. Representative Griffin also said, “You can’t do anything that is inconsistent with the negative impact that we’ve told everybody these cuts are going to have.”
A representative from the Agriculture Department stated during a Fox News interview that the leaked email was taken completely out of context. The spokesperson also claimed that the references to budget impacts communicated to Congress were not related to the sequester cuts.
White House senior economic adviser Gene Sperling recently stated that the Obama administration hopes Republicans start to see the “pain” in their districts and opt for a bipartisan compromise on the budget.
The controversy about the motives behind the mandate not to contradict what Congress was told about budget cuts still remains, regardless of whether or not the email did relate to the sequester. Lawmakers angry about the leaked Agriculture Department email are quick to point out that if an agency can spent money wisely enough that a program does no longer needs to be eliminated – should have the power to do so.
What do you think about the leaked Agriculture Department email and the dire predictions surrounding the sequester cuts?
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