Sequestration, the Pentagon, and the States

Sequestration, the Pentagon, and the States offers selected state-level briefs focused on the local impact of looming automatic across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration and historically high levels of Pentagon spending.

On March 1, unless Congress acts, billions of dollars will be cut from domestic programs and the Pentagon. But while these cuts will have a devastating impact on many domestic programs, the Pentagon is better positioned to absorb them due to the significant growth in military spending over the past decade.

Highlights of the release focus on critical domestic programs that could see their funding cut if sequestration goes into effect, and the impact that modest reductions in Pentagon spending could have to safeguard these programs, such as:

  • A $50 billion cut in Pentagon spending could fund five years of Community Development Block Grants AND five years of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) AND four years of Homeless Assistance Grants.
  • Military spending has grown by 35 percent since 2002, 48 percent if you include war costs. Domestic discretionary spending grew by only 8 percent over that period.
  • Funding for FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program has been cut by 53 percent over the last three years. Sequestration would reduce the program’s $100 million FY2013 proposed budget by $5.1 million.
  • At the University of Virginia the Virginia share of total projected Pentagon spending for Fiscal Year 2013, $16 billion, would fund all in-state expenses of a four-year education for each incoming freshman class for the next 46.3 years.


Read the full report published by the National Priorities Project

LIHEAP Funds Released by HHS for Helping Low-Income Households

January 19, 2012
Contact: ACF Press Office
(202) 401-9215

HHS releases more than $863 million to help low-income households with energy costs stay safe and healthy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing more than $863 million today to grantees to help low-income households with their heating and other home energy costs under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). HHS is releasing the remaining funds, made available by the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74), to states, territories, tribes and the District of Columbia.

“This support is critical for families needing assistance to pay their home energy costs,” said George Sheldon, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “We are releasing these funds today to help ease the burden for those vulnerable families and aid them in getting through the remaining winter months and the summer months ahead.”

LIHEAP assists low-income households, including families with children and seniors, with their home energy needs such as heating in the winter, cooling in the summer, and insulating their homes to make them more energy-efficient and to reduce their energy costs. The $863 million in regular block grant funds released today is in addition to the $2.6 billion released since October 2011. Including funds released today, grantees will receive a total of $3.4 billion in LIHEAP block funds for Fiscal Year 2012.

“Many Americans make difficult decisions whether it’s paying for rent, food and heating costs, which can add a real strain on families,” said Jeannie Chaffin, director for the Office of Community Services. “We are releasing these funds today to help as many families as possible get through this winter season safe and warm.”

For a complete list of additional funds available to grantees today please visit:

Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact their local/state LIHEAP agency. For more information, go to: or