Texas expects to see its education aid slashed hundreds of millions of dollars, which could force local school districts to fire teachers, if the cuts are not averted. Michigan officials say they are in no position to replace the lost federal dollars with state dollars, but worry about cuts to federal programs like the one that helps people heat their homes. Maryland is bracing not only for a blow to its economy, which depends on federal workers and contractors and the many private businesses that support them, but also for cuts in federal aid for schools, Head Start programs, a nutrition program for pregnant women, mothers and children, and job training programs, among others.

Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a Republican, warned in a letter to President Obama on Monday that the automatic spending cuts would have a “potentially devastating impact” and could force Virginia and other states into a recession, noting that the planned cuts to military spending would be especially damaging to areas like Hampton Roads that have a big Navy presence. And he noted that the whole idea of the proposed cuts was that they were supposed to be so unpalatable that they would force officials in Washington to come up with a compromise…

But states are in a delicate position. While they fear the impact of the automatic cuts, they also fear that any deal to avert them might be even worse for their bottom lines. That is because many of the planned cuts would go to military spending and not just domestic programs, and some of the most important federal programs for states, including Medicaid and federal highway funds, would be exempt from the cuts.