By Lisa Desjardins, CNN
Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN
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Capitol Hill (CNN) – So, what the heck is this razor hanging over the federal government? The forced budget cuts, or sequester, are more than your regular breed of spending knife.
This is more of a chainsaw. Agencies have little flexibility in how the cuts hit, and now, if they go into effect, have only six months to come up with tens of billions in savings.
A few examples of what this will mean?
[1:49] Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members of Congress last week, “At the major international airports, average wait times to clear customs will increase by 50%.”
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said furloughs will hit 80,000 civilians who work for the Pentagon.
[2:56] “Many of them will be furloughed for as many as 22 days…before the end of the year. In other words, a fifth of their paycheck, gone.”
For more on why agencies are limited in how they make these cuts, as well as how the food supply could be affected, listen to our story above.