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Breakdown of looming US sequester cuts

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The White House published a detailed state-by-state report on the impact of automatic budget cuts set to hit Friday if bitterly divided lawmakers cannot strike a last-minute deal.

The $85 billion worth of cuts -- known as a sequester -- were designed to be painful in a bid to force lawmakers to reach a more palatable compromise to rein in the massive debt.

But President Barack Obama's Democrats and rival Republicans have yet to reach a deal and have been trading blame instead.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the impact of the sequester, according to the latest White House report:

DEFENSE: Some 800,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department will go on a mandatory furlough one day per week and see their salaries cut by 20 percent.

The navy will decrease the amount of time its vessels remain at sea by 30-35 percent and the deployment of a second aircraft carrier in the Gulf has already been canceled.

The maintenance budget for bases and equipment will also be reduced, forcing the dismissal of some subcontractors.

The military, however, will not see its salaries cut.

EDUCATION: The federal government will reduce aid to schools by the equivalent of salaries for 10,000 teachers and 7,200 specialists for children with disabilities.

About 70,000 children under the age of five would be cut from the Head Start preschool program, resulting in the elimination of another 14,000 teaching positions.

AIRPORTS: The average wait time for passengers arriving in the United States to pass through immigration at major airports will increase by 30-50 percent and may exceed four hours during peak times at major hubs.

Security lines will grow longer as the Transportation Security Administration enacts a hiring freeze, eliminates overtime and furloughs its 50,000 employees for up to seven days.

Temporary layoffs will also be imposed on air traffic controllers and other airport staff, leading to summer travel delays and forcing the closure of more than 200 small airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

RESEARCH: The National Institutes of Health and other federally-funded scientists will have to delay or halt research, including into chronic diseases and new treatments.

The Food and Drug Administration will also have to cut back, resulting in a slower approval process for new medicines. Up to 12,000 scientists and students could be affected.

FOOD: The FDA will have to conduct 2,100 fewer inspections, escalating the risk of food-borne illnesses and costing the food and agriculture sector millions of dollars in lost production.

NATIONAL PARKS: Many of the country's 398 national parks would be partially or completely closed, resulting in fewer visitors and less revenues for communities that rely on them.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130224/breakdown-looming-us-sequester-cuts