Obama, Republicans maneuver over sequester, government shut-down
Two days after sequester-driven budget cuts went into effect, both sides in the battle – Republican lawmakers and the Obama White House – went into a 'Plan B' of sorts.
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While he once warned (in a Wall Street Journal op-ed column) that the sequester would harm national security and cost thousands of jobs, House Speaker John Boehner – as well as other GOP leaders – have backed away from that position.
It’s almost certain to hit some regions and communities harder than others.
Some 90,000 civilian Defense Department employees in Virginia could be furloughed, according to The New York Times, and many more people who work for government contractors could see their work cut as well. Beyond that, the ripple effect on businesses providing the mundane goods and services of everyday life could be impacted as well, as families tighten their belts.
“If the sequester occurs as it’s currently stated, I would expect the state of Virginia to go into a recession,” economist Christine Chmura told The New York Times.
One thing both sides agree on is the need to avoid a government shutdown.
The House this week will move on a measure to continue government funding through the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, Speaker Boehner said. The current continuing resolution expires on March 27.
The White House has no stomach for a fight over shutting down the government either.
“What is fair is that if the Republicans stay with their part of the deal – meaning that they put forward a continuing resolution that’s reasonable, not political, stays at the level we agreed to, which is $1.043 trillion – if they agree to that, which they suggested they would, the president doesn’t believe in manufacturing another crisis,” Sperling said.