The nation’s providers of civil legal assistance for the poor could face more staffing reductions and provide services to fewer people if Congress is unable to resolve its latest budget crisis by March 1.

Unless Congress comes up with a last-minute deal next week to avoid $85 billion in automatic and arbitrary forced cuts, called sequestration, the Legal Services Corp. will suffer a 5 percent across-the-board cut to its annual funding, agency president Jim Sandman said. Those cuts would follow two years of steep cuts to LSC funding.

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