When Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 in the midst of the debt-ceiling crisis and crushing gridlock, it was a small compromise, delaying economic catastrophe by kicking the can down the road and stopping the bleeding. The legislation effectively moved major decisions off months into the future by establishing a deadline for Congress to take more significant action. The bill set up a series of dramatically harsh spending cuts in the far-off year of 2013 with the idea that the pain those cuts would inflict on our economy and our families would be too great for Congress to fail to act.
Sadly, it seems Members of Congress underestimated the extent to which gridlock has crippled their own institution.
Congress again stalled, letting these massive spending cuts go into effect on March 1. While the real effect is not expected to be fully felt for several months, the costs on our air, our water, and the health of our planet and our families are already mounting. Just take a look at what sequestration is already doing or will do in the months ahead: