Sally Jewell: Sequestration 'Very, Very Difficult'
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told a Senate committee today (May 7) that the automatic spending cuts now hitting her budget are distracting the department from carrying out its mission.
"I know it’s not where you want us to go; it’s not where we want to go," Jewell told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing her spending blueprints, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
"It’s very, very difficult," Jewell continued. "It’s hard on employees who are hard working, to all the things that you care about as well. They’re really taking it on the chin. It’s just very, very difficult to carry out the mission the way it is affected."
Already, Jewell noted, national parks are seeing a reduction in services and some oil and gas lease sales were halted in California because of budget constraints.
Automatic budget cuts of about 10% hit most federal agencies after Congress failed to pass a stopgap measure.
National park officials in Utah previously said that the cuts could be absorbed without visitors seeing much of an impact, although seasonal openings were delayed and visitor hours scaled down in many national parks and monuments in the region.