President Obama's annual meeting
with the nation's governors came with a warning. He says the March 1st spending
cuts will impact each of their states; everything from fewer firefighters and
police to flight delays at the airport and less vaccines for children.
But Republicans say the president is making the cuts sound scarier than they are. They point out the 85 billion that will be slashed this year is just 3 percent of the federal budget.
Congress is back in town after a week off, leaving just four days to reach a compromise before the deadline. Lawmakers are talking behind closed doors, but the chance of a deal looks slim.
Democrats want a plan that includes some spending cuts and raises taxes on the richest Americans. But Republicans say they will not agree to another tax hike. They're expected to propose a plan that focuses on spending cuts only.
The cuts were designed to be so painful they would force Democrats and Republicans into a better budget compromise. After a year and a half that hasn't happened and now time is running out.
Lawmakers will also look at the option of delaying the spending cuts, which would set up another fiscal deadline down the road.
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