Sequester 2013: Obama Asks Congress to Delay Automatic Cuts

President Barack Obama will ask Congress to come up with tens of billions of dollars in short-term spending cuts and tax revenue to avoid the automatic across the board cuts — known as "sequester" — that are scheduled for March 1, White House officials said Tuesday according to the AP.

Obama will ask on Tuesday afternoon for a "targeted way" to reduce the deficit in the short term. The president says that Congress "needs more time" to work the 10-year/$1 trillion plan in deficit reduction — which would be achieved by finding deficit reductions of up to $85 billion (putting off the sequester until the start of the new fiscal year).

Congress and the White House have agreed on $2.6 trillion in cuts and higher taxes since the beginning of 2011, but they have been unable to close the deal. If the sequester kicks in, it would reduce Pentagon spending by 7% and domestic programs by 5% (food stamps and Medicaid would be exempt, but Medicare could take up to a 2% reduction). 

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