White House Outlines Deep Cuts It May Have To Make
At issue are $1.2 trillion of additional spending cuts over the next 10 years, including about $85 billion this year.
Obama has called for a small package of spending cuts and measures to close tax loopholes and put off the deadline again.
But Republicans have so far said no.
"We agree the sequester is the wrong way to cut spending," Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said Friday. But, he added: "The president got his higher taxes on the wealthy last monthâ¿¿ with no corresponding cuts. The tax issue has been resolved."White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed such arguments as "convenient spin, but it's also a lot of baloney." Administration budget officials said the list of proposed cuts was compiled by the various federal agencies that would be responsible for carrying them out â¿¿ and not dictated by the White House. In the Senate, majority-party Democrats are discussing ways to raise new revenues and curb spending to replace the cuts and aiming for a vote just before March 1. They want to cut spending as well, including direct payments to farmers that are seen as hard to defend. "It should be a mixture," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Ideas for increasing tax revenue include a minimum tax rate for millionaires, eliminating a tax perk on corporate jets and closing a loophole that allows wealthy people to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes on some of their income. But the Democratic effort seems sure to be blocked by Republicans, who are dead set against additional tax revenue after yielding to Obama during "fiscal cliff" negotiations and agreeing to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Obama got the tax increases he wanted â¿¿ with no corresponding spending cuts. House Republicans are divided between defense hawks hoping to avert Pentagon cuts and tea-party conservatives who back the sequester.
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