A Congressional budget battle has forced the U.S. Coast Guard Band to cancel its Bradenton March 9 concert.
The concert was part of the Music in the Park series along the Riverwalk, and the Coast Guard announced the cancellation of its tour on March 1 and released the following statement:
“It was not an easy decision. We further regret that the US Coast Guard Band's tour of the South (which included Bradenton) was cancelled so close to its start- however, the final decision was delayed until today under the hope that there would be some sort of resolution to sequestration. Per the Coast Guard Commandant's guidance on the Coast Guard's handling of sequestration, the service's priority during this time is to preserve those areas that best support its critical assets.”
So, what is sequestration? It's a legal manuevre used in Congress to prompt automatic spending cuts. Here is CNN's explanation of the tool:
It's a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending.
It's all part of attempts to get a handle on the growth of the U.S. national debt, which exploded upward when the 2007 recession hit and now stands at more than $16 trillion. The sequester has been coming for more than a year, with Congress pushing it back to March 1 as part of the fiscal cliff deal at the end of the last session.
Check out the full schedule of Music in the Park concerts on Patch.