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Cuts in place, Obama and GOP brace for next fight

By Josh Lederman

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:16 a.m. HST, Mar 02, 2013

WASHINGTON » Severe spending cuts now the law of the land, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans refused today to concede any culpability for failing to stave off what both parties acknowledged was a foolhardy way to slash $85 billion in federal spending.

The still-fragile economy braced itself for the gradual but potentially grave impact of the across-the-board cuts, which took effect Friday night at the stroke of Obama's pen. Hours earlier, he and congressional leaders emerged from a White House meeting no closer to an agreement.

Even as they pledged a renewed effort to retroactively undo the spending cuts, both parties said the blame rests squarely on the other for any damage the cuts might inflict. There were no indications that either side was wavering from entrenched positions that for weeks had prevented progress on a deal to find a way out: Republicans refusing any deal with more tax revenue and Democrats snubbing any deal without it.

"None of this is necessary," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address today. "It's happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit."

The president said the cuts would cause "a ripple effect across the economy" that would worsen the longer they stay in place, eventually costing more than 750,000 jobs and disrupting the lives of middle-class families.

In the Republican-controlled House, GOP lawmakers washed their hands of the mess, arguing that bills they passed in the last Congress to avert the cuts absolved them of any responsibility. Those bills passed with little to no Democratic support and were never taken up by the Senate.

"We've done the work and shown that these choices can be made in a responsible, thoughtful way," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington in the GOP address.

Obama was holding out hope that as Americans start feeling the effects of the sequester — the term used for the automatic spending cuts — public pressure will force lawmakers back to the table. Ever wary that such fiscal fiascos could jeopardize the rest of his second-term agenda, Obama vowed in his weekly address to keep pushing reforms on immigration, preschool, gun violence and transportation.

But attention was already turning to the next major budget hurdles, with less than a month to negotiate a plan to fund the government beyond March 27 and a debt-ceiling clash coming in May.

Hopes that a measure to undo the spending cuts could be wrapped into a March deal to keep the government running dimmed Friday when both Obama and House Speaker John Boehner said they'd prefer to keep the two issues separate.

"I'm hopeful that we won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we're dealing with the sequester at the same time," Boehner said.


Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/HouseConference

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ufried wrote:
wow, it's saturday morning and the sun still came out!
on March 2,2013 | 09:29AM
Manoa2 wrote:
The effects are taking place-- not so much with government or government workers, but with all the private companies that have taken over functions that are now privatized-- computer systems, maintenance of all manner of military equipment and facilities, and all the private companies that provide research and development, transmittal of spy sattelite images, developmnet of the new generation of drones, cyber security, and many more things we assume are done by government but have shifted to private companies in Virginia, Texas, and California-- look at why these states get more federal dollars than any of the other states for these contracts. These companies, many of which are secret agencies, are shutting down as we are reading this. This is where many of the problems will be-- lots of high paid, smart people are being let go as contracts cannot be renewed.
on March 2,2013 | 02:58PM
serious wrote:
So, our President will take AF ONE at $180,000 an hour and the SS people at unknown taxpayer dollars to campaign for ??????? He got elected by the people who sign their checks on the back. He has separated this country by the "middle class" whoever they are--I think the food stamp people--and the ultra rich. The ultra rich, of course, are the ones that work for a living. Bunch of crap. We have to get people off welfare and go to work. It's not a racial issue--if he claims to be black--get his bothers and sisters together in Detroit and Chicago and DC and have town meetings, not the staged group he uses for his "issues".
on March 2,2013 | 10:04AM
fshnpoi wrote:
have you seen dc, chicago, or detroit or the struggles they deal with?
on March 2,2013 | 02:38PM
tiki886 wrote:
Wall Street's stock market didn't crash. It didn't ever pause or dip. It seems they have a way of sniffing out BS.
on March 2,2013 | 10:21AM
fshnpoi wrote:
on March 2,2013 | 10:25AM
808comp wrote:
Times going to be rough,but we will survive. This is America folks. All the lazy politicians will go to their office everyday,and fight with the President and among themselves,collect their hefty pay checks,and forget about the rest of the country.
on March 2,2013 | 10:34AM
tiwtsfm wrote:
This is all a minor bump in the road. American people are strong and can rise to the occasion.
on March 2,2013 | 10:42AM
DAGR81 wrote:
America is still great, inspite of the unraveling of this presidency.
on March 2,2013 | 11:47AM
Bdpapa wrote:
The Prez got some explaining to do. But, both sides will just point fingers.
on March 2,2013 | 10:45AM
Ronin006 wrote:
The sky has not fallen and Chicken Little Obama and his flock should stop saying that it will.
on March 2,2013 | 12:03PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The nonsense about supposed impacts from sequester being spewed by Obama and his administration reminds me about what seemingly intelligent people were saying about what would happen at midnight on December 31, 1999 when the calendar would change to 2000. Many were predicting computers would crash thus causing unimaginable disasters for airlines, railroads, electrical-generating systems, communications satellites in orbit and other computer-controlled systems and devices. Well, 1999 went and 2000 came and nothing of the sort occurred. Sequester will be no different. Its effects will go unnoticed.
on March 2,2013 | 12:03PM
false wrote:
My car seems to be performing at only 99.5% and not 100%. I am deeply effected by this crisis.
on March 2,2013 | 12:08PM
false wrote:
Dear Obama, How many more Illegal Alien Criminals are you going to order the DHS to let go.?
on March 2,2013 | 12:06PM
realist3463 wrote:
Our governments, national, state, city and county are dysfunctional. They run by people who have no interest in the well being of those whom they govern. They are only interested in themselves and their power and the perquisites that come from that power. We the electorate have squandered the power of the vote by voting again and again for these miscreants. The news media has sold themselves out to the power brokers for continued free access and has sacrificed any semblance of journalistic independence to sharing that power. VOTE THEM ALL OUT.
on March 2,2013 | 12:16PM
Bdpapa wrote:
It is time to clean house.
on March 2,2013 | 02:02PM
fshnpoi wrote:
take 2..stop sending billions to other countries and use it here!
on March 2,2013 | 02:39PM
st1d wrote:
this is actually a good thing. the nation will learn that it can survive without increasing spending and entitlements. unnecessary spending and perks will be curtailed and the work of the government will go on.
on March 2,2013 | 03:16PM
fshnpoi wrote:
yea, pres roosevelt thought the same thing too, and look how much the great depression lasted. took wwii to get the economy back on its feet.
on March 2,2013 | 05:10PM
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