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The Congressional Super Committee failed to reach a deal for reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion before its deadline. As a result of the committee's failure, the country now faces "sequestration," which means automatic cuts to programs will take effect in January 2013 and spread through 2021. The automatic reductions include cuts from the Defense Department and discretionary domestic spending.

The Good News
The Budget Control Act exempts the following low-income entitlements (as well as many other programs, including Social Security) from sequestration:
•    Child care entitlement to states (often referred to as mandatory child care spending)
•    Child nutrition entitlement programs (school meals programs except for “special milk”)
•    Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), including child enrollment contingency fund
•    Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
•    Child support enforcement and family support programs
•    Pell Grants
•    Medicaid
•    Foster care and permanency programs
•    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)
•    Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
•    Refundable tax credits (including EITC, CTC, ACA premium credits)
•    Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), including Contingency Fund
•    Veterans pensions

The Bad News
Dozens of other federal programs could be affected, ranging from the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) nutrition program and Head Start to the Workforce Investment Act, senior housing, home weatherization, and the Older Americans Act.

Cuts in these areas would have a devastating effect on our friends and neighbors in Ohio who cannot put food on the table for their families, or who need help getting back to work after being laid off.

What's Next?
The future is uncertain. There are alternatives to sequestration already being discussed in Congress. If you want to know some possibilities for "What's Next?" check out this blog post.

Thanks for being involved in this debate and for all of your emails and calls to Senator Portman, Senator Brown and all of Ohio’s Congressional delegation. Together, we generated hundreds of emails and calls to Members of Congress. It was critical that they heard from constituents that these programs have support.

From all of us here at Advocates for Ohio's Future, we wish you and yours a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.

Will Petrik, Outreach Director