Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) referred to sequestration as "the first significant tea party victory" in Washington, while Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas)said the cuts were "a home run for America."Yay! This is awesome, right? Well ... maybe for Huelskamp and Pompeo's sloganeering far-right ideology, but for their constituents in Kansas? Not so much:
A court ruled earlier this year that Kansas had failed to meet its constitutionally defined obligation to fund state education requirements. Now, the state Department of Education estimates a loss of $59 million in federal funds in the 2013-2014 school year, just as the state was looking to get its education funding back on track.And of course Huelskamp and Pompeo are outraged about the control tower closures, because closing those is bad and political, unlike all the other cuts that they support, which are good and, okay, also political, but in a good way that they agree with. A tea party victory, home run for America kind of way. I mean, when you hear that the justice system is slowed down and an already inadequate education system is losing funds, don't you think "YES! HOME RUN"?
The cuts will also cost the federal courthouses in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City $750,000 this year—14 percent of their budget—according to the court clerk in Topeka. Judge Julia Gibbons, budget committee chairwoman for the U.S. Judicial Conference, said that as a result, some criminal cases in Kansas won’t be prosecuted this year, and Kansans who face federal charges may wait longer to see a court-appointed lawyer.
But most of the local attention has gone toward the closure of seven air traffic control towers, a consequence of the $600 million funding reduction for the Federal Aviation Administration this fiscal year.