The clock is ticking towards March 1 for the automatic spending cuts to start. President Barack Obama is urging Congress to find an alternative plan in order to stave off the huge cuts.
Obama, says White House officials, will point out the negative effects the sequester – $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years – will have by standing with the people who are first responders and will be directly affected if the cuts go into force.
White House officials said President Obama would be joined by emergency responders at the White House, the type of Americans whose jobs will be on the line if Republicans in Congress fail to come up with a compromise.
An official from the White House said that Obama would challenge Congressional Republicans to a very simple choice: protect investments made in healthcare, national defense and education or continue prioritizing and protecting the tax loopholes that are benefitting very few Americans at the expense of working and middle class Americans.
The cuts of $1.2 trillion, which originally were scheduled to start on January 1, emerged from budget negotiations in Congress during 2011. Only ten days remain before the cuts will go into force and at this time there is not a single alternative plan that exists and Congress is on a weeklong recess until Monday February 25.
Economists say the cuts would slow down the U.S. economy and the White House has shown how they would hurt the country’s middle class from cuts in education to cuts in loan guarantees for small business. A nonpartisan group estimated that cutting $1.2 trillion from the budget would put nearly one million jobs at risk.