Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development Operations and Foreign Assistance

The Department of State (State) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began informal planning efforts prior to fiscal year 2013. Officials noted that it was challenging to plan budgets for sequestration without knowing how much would ultimately be cut. Both agencies used personnel and contracting actions to mitigate the effects of sequestration, but neither agency was required to furlough employees. Foreign assistance was cut equally across PPAs, so that U.S. missions abroad would not be viewed as giving certain countries or regions preferential treatment. The nature of State and USAID’s core activities can make it difficult to quantify specific immediate effects, but officials said that there could be longer-term political and diplomatic effects if funding continues to be reduced.