The government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester took effect on March 1, forcing $85 billion in budget reductions by the end of September. The federal workforce faces furloughs, hiring freezes, and reduced overtime. Agencies say the cuts will mean reduced government services. Initial effects include closing of contract airport towers and longer customs lines, but other reductions will materialize in coming months. Congress’s new short-term funding plan locks in the cuts while shifting some agencies’ funds to help ease the burden.