Budget cuts may be harsher than reality
WASHINGTON – Get ready for two weeks of intensifying warnings about how crucial, popular government services are about to wither. Many of the threats could come true.
President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans made no progress this week in heading off $85 billion in budget-wide cuts that automatically will take effect March 1. Lacking a bipartisan deal to avoid them and hoping to heap blame and pressure on GOP lawmakers, the administration is offering vivid details about the cuts’ consequences: trimmed defense contracts, less secure U.S. embassies and furloughed air traffic controllers.
At stake is a range of automatic cuts. Between March 1 and Sept. 30, the remainder of the government’s budget year, it would mean reductions of 13 percent for defense programs and 9 percent for other programs, according to the White House budget office.
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