Congressional staffers face layoffs and furloughs in two weeks, but Congress members made sure their own paychecks were safe when passing the “sequester law” in 2011.
Technically, the mandatory cuts to military and domestic federal spending are part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The act contained a “poison pill”–the threat of stark budget cuts by January 2013 in the form of what’s known as the sequester.
That threat was pushed back to March 1, 2013, as part of a compromise made in January. But now, barring a last-second deal, it looks like the sequester will happen.