On Tuesday, President Barack Obama urged Congress to delay the looming sequester by passing legislation to “replace at least some of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the government on March 1.”
“If they can’t get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe they should at least pass a smaller package,” Obama said. “There is no reason that the jobs of thousands of Americans who work in national security or education or clean energy — not to mention the growth of the entire economy — should be put in jeopardy.”
As The Hill noted, “Obama offered no concrete plan on how to replace the cuts, but warned that if Congress allowed them to go forward, it would hurt the economy.”
On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office “estimated that allowing the sequestration cuts to go forward would lead to a 0.7 percent decline in the growth of gross domestic product this year.”
The Bipartisan Policy Institute and defense firms have warned the cuts could cost the nation at least 1 million jobs.
Further, Commerce Department last week determined that “reductions in defense spending led to a 0.1 percent contraction in the economy at the end of last year.”
The sequester, as Bob Woodward reported, originated in the White House during the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, as Obama and his advisers tried to use it as a political tool to gain concessions from Republicans.