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Here's a good, long, depressing, but still partial list of sequester cuts Congress doesn't care nearly as much about as it did about flight delays: low income energy assistance; museum hours; defense nuclear nonproliferation; energy efficiency and renewable energy; employment and training for former soldiers; education for homeless kids; adult basic and literacy education; AIDS drug assistance; AIDS research, including 31 vaccine-development efforts; HIV testing; job-seeking assistance for veterans. And again, that's a partial list.
Here's one of the people who's helped by one of the programs being cut:
Margaret George, a retired widow raising her three young grandchildren in a trailer in Whispering Ranch, Arizona, says her family wouldn’t survive without federal help to pay for electricity.
In March, she paid her $200 power bill thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those costs rise with the temperature, which can top 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the desert town 50 miles northwest of Phoenix.
“I don’t have the money to pay it,” said George, 62, whose $640 energy assistance grant won’t last through the summer. “I would have already gotten it shut off it weren’t for that program—it was either pay the electric bill or it would be my grandchildren going without.”
No, $640 is not going to last through the summer if her bill is $200 in March before it's even hot out. Which sort of points to the importance of another of the cuts: energy efficiency and renewable energy.
But retired widows raising their grandchildren and adults trying to learn to read and people in need of HIV tests and even, for all the lip service Republicans give the military, unemployed veterans are not high enough on the congressional priority list either to get the special treatment business travelers got or to drive it home that the sequester needs to be repealed wholesale rather than chipped away at where it's making powerful people uncomfortable.
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:50 AM PDT.