Obama Chides GOP For Killing Plan To Address Cuts [VIDEO]
President Barack Obama is chiding Senate Republicans for blocking a Democratic plan to replace automatic spending cuts that are set to kick in Friday.
Senate Republicans objected to $55 billion worth of new taxes in the Democratic plan. It would have replaced the cuts with tax increases on millionaires and spending reductions over 10 years.
Obama says Republicans chose to cut services for kids, older people and the military rather than close loopholes for the rich. He says Republicans want the middle class alone to pay for deficit reduction.
Republicans floated their own plan to give Obama more flexibility to find $85 billion in spending cuts this year. Democrats and tea party Republicans killed that plan Thursday.
Obama and congressional leaders are to meet Friday to discuss potential ways ahead.
Automatic cuts will have to wait until midnight
The White House says automatic spending reductions set to kick in Friday will be put off until as close to midnight Friday night as possible. Call them the Cinderella cuts.
The law, passed by Congress on Jan. 2 simply says that “on March 1, 2013, the president shall order a sequestration for fiscal year 2013.” That’s budget talk for an $85 billion reduction in defense and domestic spending between now and Oct. 1. Obama can issue that order at any point in the day.
And White House press secretary Jay Carney says that means midnight, Friday — or as close to midnight as possible: 11:59 p.m. and 59 seconds.
Because, Carney’s says, Obama is “ever hopeful.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)