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St. Louis Public Radio - The Sequester Is Here To Stay, Blunt Says

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By Chris McDaniel

The sequester's across-the-board cuts to both entitlements and defense went into effect at the beginning of the month, and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says it's here to stay, at least for now.

The sequester was never meant to be a permanent change, just a threat so Congress would compromise on a plan. But Blunt wants to give the President more authority in deciding what is cut.

"And I think we're going to stick with the Budget Control Act," Blunt told reporters in a conference call. "Of course there are some ways to look at how you improve it, and one of those ways would be to give the government the same flexibility to if there was a government shutdown or a bad weather day."

But the White House does not want that power, and does not want the sequester to be permanent. It was designed to be painful and to never actually be enacted. Giving the President the power to ease the pain from the cuts would increase the likelihood that the cuts stay.

And Blunt does say that there are areas that the sequester is hurting.

"One of the groups that would have real economic impact is if the food safety inspectors don't show up. It's a particularly big issue for our state, but it's a big issue for every consumer," Blunt said.

"Not that they'd get unsafe food, but you'd get less food because you can't open these meat, poultry and egg facilities because you need the inspector there."

St. Louis Public Radio has previously detailed some of the ways the sequester will impact Missouri. You can interact with the graph below, which is based off White House estimates.

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