Sequestration is an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the U.S. Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated. The difference is sequestered by the U.S. Treasury and not handed over to the agencies to which it was originally appropriated by Congress. The use of sequestration is authorized by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

In the past, Congress avoided sequestration by raising the caps set in the Budget Resolution; however, in 2013 sequestration cuts were implemented. Sequestration made notable cuts to programs targeting those living in poverty including Head Start, Women, Infants and Children Food and Nutrition Service (WIC), Medicare, Meals on Wheels, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The ...

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