It is not just decisions by state lawmakers that affect North Carolina communities, families and small businesses; decisions by the federal government are causing pain in our state as well. And as Congress debates the federal budget, debt ceiling, it is important not to lose sight of the harm that a second round of sequestration cuts will have on North Carolina.
In recent months, North Carolina has already had to contend with a series of across-the-board spending cuts  required because Congress was unable to pass legislation to generate enough revenue to address the federal deficit, and these are hurting our state. Fewer children are being served by early education programs, less housing support is available for low-income families, low-wealth school districts are receiving fewer resources and fewer meals are available to seniors.
As evidenced by this graph from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it is still the case that the second round of sequestration will cause continued harm to the programs that help to educate our children, feed seniors and house low-income families even while it seeks to rebalance the cuts between defense and non-defense . 
Future across-the-board cuts to federal investments should be replaced with a more responsible mix of new revenue and targeted spending cuts so we can address the country’s debt while not hurting our economy and communities.