Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

All condemn pending budget cuts, spread blame

WASHINGTON — The White House on Sunday stepped up its campaign to avoid across-the-board spending cuts scheduled in less than a week by releasing estimates of what reductions could mean in every state.

In California, for example, 1,210 teachers and aides could lose their jobs, according to the White House. In Florida, 7,450 fewer children could receive vaccines for diseases. In North Carolina, 800 victims of domestic violence could go without treatment.

"This is a small sample of the consequences in the states across the country in everything from education, national defense, environment, public health," said Jason Furman, principal deputy director of the National Economic Council.

Five days before the cuts are to take effect, administration officials, members of Congress and governors continued to assign blame for them while warning about the possible dire consequences.

The automatic cuts — known in Washington as sequestration — are the result of a bipartisan deal in 2011 to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Congress agreed that if a 12-member committee could not find ways to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade, the cuts would come from spending.

"This sequester is going into effect because Republicans are choosing for it to go into effect," Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said. "They've made that choice."

The first round of cuts, now estimated at $85 billion, was set to start in January. But the White House and Congress agreed to delay that until March 1 as part of a deal that raised taxes on the richest 1 percent of Americans.

"Republicans in the House have voted — twice — to replace President Obama's sequester with smarter spending cuts," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "The White House needs to spend less time explaining to the press how bad the sequester will be and more time actually working to stop it."

Obama is urging Congress to delay the reductions, even by a few months, by passing a package of modest cuts and additional revenue by eliminating tax loopholes benefiting certain industries or the wealthy.

But many Republicans oppose increases in revenue. Some want to the cuts occur while others are considering changing the law to would allow agencies to determine how to best administer the reductions.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC's This Week that the worst of the cuts could be alleviated with some flexibility. "The best way to do it is just allow flexibility. If you allow flexibility you don't have to shut down the carrier."

White House spokesman Jay Carney has insisted for weeks that the agencies have no flexibility. Administration officials did not respond to questions Sunday about whether they would support a change in law to gain flexibility.

But on Sunday some Democratic lawmakers continued to say the best course of action is a compromise between the Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate to avert the cuts.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said on Fox News Sunday that Defense Department officials have said "even if we did some kind of flexibility move at the eleventh hour, it's too little, too late in terms of what they've got in motion."

All condemn pending budget cuts, spread blame 02/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tributes pour in for ex-national security adviser Brzezinski

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — Well before he went to the White House in 1977, Jimmy Carter was impressed by the views of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski. That Carter immediately liked the Polish-born academic advising his campaign was a plus.

    Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski died Friday.
  2. One year after deaths, Sunset Music Festival kicks off with emphasis on water and security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Before the beat drops, or even builds, you hear Steve-O.

    "If you don't get water you're lame!"

    "Hey! Free water! Come on!"

    Steve "Steve-O" Raymond motions to guests making the line to grab free water bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Music Festival on the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium parking lot in Tampa. ( LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)
  3. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  4. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  5. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)