Cuts to the federal budget that began on March 1, 2013 as an austerity fiscal policy. Enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the cuts were initially set to begin on January 1, but were postponed by two months by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The spending reductions were approximately $85.4 billion during fiscal year 2013, with similar cuts for years 2014 through 2021. Medicaid was exempt, and cuts to Medicare were limited to 2 percent.