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Obama Punished Rural Schools to Increase Sequester Pain

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 16, 2014 @ 10:25 am In The Point | 10 Comments

This is a good deal worse than a bridge, but it won’t get one of those trendy ‘gate’ names because it’s not a one time event, this is just how Obama and his people do things. And the media that lies about it for them approves.

A House Natural Resources Committee investigation has found that President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget ordered that sequestration cuts be applied retroactively to funding for rural schools over the opposition of the Agriculture Department.

The committee’s report released today, “A Less Secure Future for Rural Schools: An Investigation into the Obama Administration’s Questionable Application of the Sequester to the Secure Rural Schools Program,” detailed how last February the USDA had determined 2013 sequestration wouldn’t apply to 2012 funds that had already been distributed in the program. The White House stepped in and overruled the USDA, though both agencies haven’t turned over numerous subpoenaed documents that could reveal more behind the decision.

The program dates back to a 2000 bill, which was extended in July 2012 for that fiscal year. The $323 million in funds were doled out to 41 states by the USDA in January 2013. But two months later, after sequestration went into effect, the Obama administration announced it wanted $17.9 million back — prompting bipartisan backlash from governors and congressional representatives of the affected states.

It’s a rather bizarre story even by the standards of this administration.

19 states weren’t able to give back the funds as requested under sequestration, with half a dozen in the administrative appeals process. They could get docked for “outstanding debt” in the distribution of fiscal year 2014 funds.

Obama clawed back 2012 funding that had already been distributed, that his own agriculture department opposed redistributing, but which he nonetheless tried redistributing anyway.


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