Spending battle looms


WASHINGTON — In Washington, where there always seems to be a scary deadline looming, the next one is March 1st. Today the battle is on for who gets blamed. If no agreement is reached, huge cross-the-board cuts in defense and social services spending will take place; cuts known as sequestration.

Last time it was the debt ceiling. President Obama got what he wanted by refusing to negotiate. Now it’s John Boehner who’s taking the hard line and letting the president know it.

President Obama was in Annapolis rallying democrats for the battle over defense cuts when house republicans sent him a message; President Obama detail how you would cut the deficit to avoid the automatic spending cuts next month.

Rep. Eric Cantor, (R) from Virginia says, “Mr. President! Please, you missed the deadline again. Let’s see your plan and show it to the American people and have this discussion; about the proper ways to manage down this debt and deficit.”

Without a budget deal, on March 1st, the so called sequestration will force reductions in military training, cutbacks in operations, layoffs of civilian pentagon employees and layoff of civilian defense workers.

General Barry McCaffrey, U.S. Army Ret. says, “It’s an idiotic management nightmare to try and run complex sophisticated long-term programs when you have short term massive cuts.”

Deep cuts also loom in social services.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Panetta slammed democrats and republicans for their game of chicken.

Panetta says, “Let’s see how bad it can get in order to have the other party blink.”

Some Senate Republicans today said push the deadline back seven months.

But house speaker John Boehner said, in effect, he will not blink.

House Speaker John Boehner says, “At some point, Washington has to deal with [this] spending problem! I’ve watched kick can down road for 22 years when I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. [It’s] time to act.

It’s another Obama-Boehner battle.

And for now the deadline stands. Sequestration spending cuts strike in 23 days. No deal yet

Steve Handelsman, NBC News.

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