“There’s all kinds of permutations underneath that that make it difficult to figure out — I don’t think anyone really knows — specifically where the cuts will come yet,” Soloway said. “But what happens Jan. 2, assuming nothing changes in terms of sequestration, is the hammer comes down.”
Beyond that, it’s difficult to say how particular programs will fare, Soloway said.
The reductions under sequestration run down through agency budgets to what’s known as the program, project and activity level, Soloway said. The Office of Management and Budget has yet to provide an explanation of that level. However, by Sept. 8, the President is required to submit a detailed report to Congress explaining how the automatic cuts will be applied.
“Once OMB defines what that level is, beneath it, there will be some flexibility, some latitude, for the agencies to hopefully do this in a strategic way,” Soloway said, as opposed to cutting every project or program by the same amount.
“That would be the worst thing, and I think most government managers would agree,” he said.
Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 8-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006, and launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.