Published On: Mon, Feb 25th, 2013

Sequester deadline looms as politicians battle over $85 billion in reduced spending

The mandatory sequester starts hitting Friday, and the White House offered state-by-state details Sunday of the impact.

In Texas, the cuts will mean less border security and longer lines at airports and for cargo entering Texas seaports. About 4,800 poor children would lose access to Head Start and Early Head Start service. There might be teacher layoffs, and widespread furloughs at Fort Hood and other military installations.

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“Republicans have decided that they want the sequester to go into effect,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior White House adviser, told reporters on a conference call. “They have decided that they are not open to compromise, these cuts should happen, that these cuts are better for the country.”

Republicans blame the White House for the stalemate, rejecting President Barack Obama’s push for new federal revenue and denouncing the scare tactics the administration has used as Friday’s deadline looms.

Sunday’s release of state-by-state impacts was the latest in an ongoing drumbeat meant to boost the pressure on Republicans.

The actual figure debated is $85 billion in this year’s budget, a small percentage (just 2%) of the 3.5 trillion dollar budget and just $20 billion more than the Sandy relief fund handed out a month ago.

The Democratic plan would delay the sequester until January and replace the sequester with $110 billion in new tax revenue and a more narrow menu of spending cuts.

Critics are targeting the plan saying “new tax revenue” is code for raising taxes and there’s no reason to wait a year.

Pew Research/USA Today poll released last week said that 49 percent of survey respondents would blame congressional Republicans for failure to reach a deal to avoid the sequester, while 31 percent would blame President Obama.

That doesn’t bode well for GOP lawmakers if the majority of people start to feel serious pain from the cuts.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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