Congress cherrypicks FAA in sequester, leaves other budgets in limbo

by: Frank Field Updated:

SEATTLE —

If the president signs a bill effectively ending furloughs for air traffic controllers, he'll put in effect a bill Congress passed that ends the sequester sequestration for a big industry – the airlines.

But KIRO 7 Eyewitness News found backlash among local groups whose budgets are still in limbo.

Kids in Head Start, for example, are getting prepared for grade school but their federally-funded program has to cut its budget about 5 percent like every other government agency. That means fewer services for poor kids.

Bianca Bailey, a director of a Head Start program says that means "nutritious food, developmental screenings, teachers are going to have to take furlough days, our children and parents are going to have to figure out what they're gonna do with their children."

In Washington state, Head Start is cutting about $7.5 million. The cuts are closing some programs, which will put a pressure on parents like CeCe Smith, who relies on Head Start so she can hold a job and go to college.

"If this is cut that means my kid may have to be at home, and that may mean that I have to be at home, too because I'm not able to go to work or school," she said.

Federal housing vouchers are cut back, too. The King County Housing Authority is looking for $6.3 million dollars in sequestration cuts. James

James Morrison got a housing voucher before the county cut off 600 people on the waiting list. He said members of Congress just don't get how hard it is for the working poor.

"If they did, they'd put more money into this program and help 600 more families that are trying to make it and working hard just to put food on the table," he said.

The Meals on Wheels program in Seattle managed to absorb the cuts for this year, so seniors won't have to go without food. But they're worried what might happen in the next fiscal year if Congress doesn't fix the entire budget, not just the FAA's.