Sequestration Nation: Who's Going to Feel the Cuts?

By Emma Fidel - 2013-03-20T11:54:45Z

Photograph by Edward Keating/The New York Times via Redux

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The March 21 spending bill includes provisions aimed at preventing furloughs of government meat inspectors under sequestration. The bill shifts $55 million to the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to help it avoid pulling inspectors from meatpacking plants, Brian Faler reports. Slaughterhouses would have closed for several days if meat inspectors had been sent home without pay, Alan Bjerga reported. About 8,400 personnel inspect the nation’s 6,300 slaughterhouses and processing plants, which can't operate without federal inspectors present. A 15-day furlough would have cost the industry more than $10 billion in production losses and workers would have lost more than $400 million in wages, Agriculture's Vilsack said in his letter to Congress.