If the spending deal that averts a government shutdown for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 passes Congress, the United States will see the biggest spending reductions since World War II. But not all beneficiaries of federal funding would feel the cuts equally; some will even see an increase in pay and services. We reveal the Americans who can expect to tighten their belts or breathe sighs of relief—at least until September 30.
Losers: Local law-enforcement officials
The spending plan cuts $1 billion from the Justice Department, and state and local law enforcement bears $415 million of the hit. Enforcement officials who participate in the federally funded COPS program, which develops crime-fighting strategies and technology, can expect $296 million cut from the rest of their fiscal 2011 budget.
Winners: Needy students
In keeping with President Obama's plan to return the United States to its spot as the No. 1 producer of college graduates by the year 2020, funds for Title I schools and low-income college students requesting Pell grants will remain virtually untouched. One exception is for students going to college year-round, who will no longer be able to receive two Pell grants a year.
Losers: Recipients of foreign aid
Though the State Department has some of the lowest operating costs of any federal agency, its programs are slated to be hit the hardest with an $8 billion cut. Money intended to strengthen the Peace Corps, the United Nations, and fragile nations across the world has been signifiantly downsized, according to the US Global Leadership Coalition. Top on the list of concerns, says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are Middle Eastern countries on the brink of democracy and in need of economic support.
Winners: Moon walkers
The Orion capsule, first funded by President George W. Bush in an effort to put Americans back on the moon, was cancelled by President Obama. But, The Washington Post reports, increased funding for NASA gives new life to the project, as well as funding for the development of a heavy-lift rocket.
Losers: Low-income mothers
Cuts in both the Agriculture Department and Health and Human Services will affect women and children in need of food and health care. The USDA program that provides food and baby formula to needy women, infants, and children (WIC) faces a $500 million cut. In addition to a $17 million reduction in women’s health services like Planned Parenthood, community health centers will take a $600 million deduction in discretionary funds.
Winners: Military personnel
The Pentagon is one of the few agencies to receive an increase in funds from 2010. Military personnel who once feared that a shutdown would freeze their salaries can now expect a 1.4 percent pay raise.
Losers: Public-housing residents
Programs like the Community Development Fund, the Public Capital Fund, and the Hope VI program, which provide cities with federal funds to revitalize distressed public-housing neighborhoods, collectively face $1.5 billion in cuts. Cities undergoing major revitalization efforts, like Chicago's "Plan for Transformation," may be forced to dip into emergency funds or halt renovations before homes are ready for residents to move back.
Winners: Alternative-energy developers
Perhaps moved by the nuclear disaster in Japan, President Obama and congressional leaders agreed not to cut loan guarantees to renewable-energy projects. But that guarantee could vanish should construction begin after September 30.
Losers: Job seekers
The Labor Department will suffer a softer blow than the House GOP fiscal 2011 spending plan passed in February. But the workforce reinvestment program, which provides vocational training and search strategies to job seekers, faces a $182 million cut from its $3 billion budget.
Winners: Financial regulators
The Securities and Exchange Commission skirted Republican opposition, who threatened to cut their funding by $46 million. Instead, the SEC received $74 million more to regulate markets and enforce laws than it did in 2010, totaling a $1.19 billion operating budget.
Losers: Water drinkers
The EPA is facing its steepest cuts in 30 years. Money that allows states to regulate water contamination will be diminished, while plans to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions will maintain support.