The Sequester: Shenanigans or Serious Business?

"If the federal government imposes the $85 billion "sequester" cuts, which could go into effect Friday night, the changes may not be immediately apparent for many metro Atlanta residents," Patch.com reports. "Many of the departments and agencies likely to be affected, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are themselves unsure how they would be affected. "It is not clear how individual field offices will be impacted by the implementation of the sequester," said Stephen Emmett, spokesman for the FBI's Atlanta field office. Politico reports that the Atlanta-based disease detectives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could see their funding cut, hampering their ability to mobilize if there is a public health crisis. CDC Director Tom Frieden told POLITICO: “It would impact every CDC program. It would make us less able to find and stop outbreaks.” Federal funds flow to state health departments, but Georgia health officials said it's too soon to say how services to the public would be affected. "If sequestration does occur, which and to what extent programs will be impacted is not clear," said Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam. Atlanta's Universities could lose funds to help low-income students. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has offered estimates on how much could be at stake in lost opportunity grants and work-study funds for students."

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