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Wednesday February 10th, 2016 7:58AM

Ga. braces for federal cuts, but effect unknown

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- Mandatory spending cuts will hit many federal programs beginning Friday unless President Barack Obama and Congress avoid the so-called sequester.

But Georgia officials say the effects here are not immediately clear.

A state-by-state account from the White House says Georgia could, among other items, lose $233 million in Army base support; $190 million in pay for Department of Defense employees; $28.6 million in K-12 education support; and money that pays for immunizations, environmental management and meals for needy seniors.

Two big-ticket federal programs - Social Security and Medicaid - are exempt. So are Pell Grants, school nutrition and federal highway construction. But Medicare isn't.

In addition, some runways at the Atlanta airport, the world's busiest, might have to be closed. (See separate story.)

Some analysts, meanwhile, say the biggest long-term effect could be an economy slowed down by diminished consumer confidence.
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