Following up on Saturday’s post about the possible closure of three Iowa
airports air traffic control towers, the White House has released more details on how automatic federal spending cuts could affect Iowa, beginning on March 1, if Congress and President Barack Obama don’t agree on a deal to replace the “sequester.”
The Obama administration prepared state-specific fact sheets about the sequester, and you can read the Iowa version here (pdf). Most of that document discusses the nationwide impacts of potential budget cuts. I enclose below the two pages with numbers for Iowa. According to the Pew Center on the States, Iowa would be less affected than most other states by the cuts, because “federal grants subject to sequester” comprise only about 5.4 percent of state revenues, compared to a national average of 6.6 percent. Federal defense spending comprises only 1.7 percent of our state’s GDP, less than half the national average. Non-defense federal spending comprises about 0.7 percent of Iowa’s GDP, also less than half the national average.
Congress may pass another short-term delay of the sequester this week, in order to give more time for leaders in both parties to negotiate with the president. The budget cuts were originally supposed to go into effect on January 1, but Congress approved a two-month delay as that deadline approached.