will be reducing its state and local grant funding by more than $100 million, a cut necessitated by the sequestration order signed on Friday.
In a letter sent today to grant recipients, David J. Kaufman — acting assistant administrator for the grant programs directorate — said the sequestration will affect FY 2013 funding levels for all GPD grants, subject to FEMA's final FY 2013 appropriation. This will result in a reduction to FEMA's State and Local grant funding levels of approximately $104 million. Sequestration will not affect grants or cooperative agreements awarded in previous fiscal years.
In August 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 to limit federal spending and reduce the national debt. That law requires sequestration, or across-the-board funding reductions, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split evenly between defense and domestic discretionary spending.
"We recognize the hardships that sequestration is likely to cause and thank you for your cooperation as we work together to manage these unfortunate circumstances," Kaufman wrote. "
An Office of Management and Budget report shows FEMA's sequester-related cuts. State and local programs were second-hardest hit, after disaster relief, which will lose $928 million.
DATA TABLE: FEMA's FY 2013 sequestration cuts
Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that sequestration would undermine DHS's "core critical mission."
But in a letter to Napolitano, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) indicated's situation isn't as dire as Napolitano suggested.
"[T]he Office of Management and Budget projected that at the end of fiscal year 2013, DHS would carry forward more than $9 billion in unobligated balances," Coburn wrote. "This is money that has not yet been spent, nor even assigned to a specific project, raising the question of why we would not start by reclaiming these funds. I would appreciate if DHS could provide an explanation for what these funds are for and whether the agency has considered them for sequestration."
Coburn also noted that DHS has a large "fiscal stimulus" program, with over twice as much money still unspent in that program as is needed to pay for the sequester, according to the Washington Examiner.