Furloughs to Begin in April, Due to Sequester
On Friday, Congress and President Obama were unable to resolve the sequester debates raging in Washington, and the POTUS says middle-class families can expect to feel a squeeze, reports the New York Times.
"I will not be part of any back-room deal, and I will absolutely not agree to increase taxes," said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.
After a public relations blitz lasting weeks that was aimed at stopping the cuts, Mr. Obama said he was prepared to extend a stopgap law that finances the government to March 27 if Republicans stuck to an agreement worked out in 2011 about the level of federal spending. The decision will most likely allow the across-the-board spending reductions to remain in place for months if not years.
White House officials and Senate Democrats had considered making one last stand around the March 27 deadline, declaring the Senate would not pass another government spending plan unless it undid the across-the-board cuts. But Senate Democrats were leery. The first furloughs are likely to hit in April, and the Democrats feared that little political pressure would have built on Republicans before the current stopgap spending law expired.
In his weekly address on Saturday morning, the president acknowledged that the reductions would not affect everyone equally.
"While not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away, the pain will be real," Mr. Obama said. "Many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in a significant way."
Read more at the New York Times.