Members of Congress, for instance, won’t see their salaries cut. The 1.4 million active-duty members of the armed forces won’t get furlough notices or pay cuts.Programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and several public aid funds designed to help the neediest will survive untouched.

Also exempt from the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts: more than a dozen oversight boards, commissions and agencies funded outside the normal appropriations process, like the Post Office. Other agencies may see some belt-tightening, like the Peace Corps or Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but their employees won’t be furloughed…

“It’s veterans and the safety net. All the programs that are growing at the fastest rate in the budget are exempt. That must make sense to someone,” said Jim Dyer, former GOP staff director of the House Appropriations Committee.