With the Senate rejecting Thursday both the last-minute Democratic and Republican proposals, the $85 billion in sequester cuts kicked in on Friday. President Barack Obama stated Thursday that the Senate, by failing to accept either measure, “voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.”
“Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit,” Obama said. “And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families.”
While $85 billion in cuts will take effect in the remaining seven months of this fiscal year, the across-the-board reductions will total $1.2 trillion over nine years.
Obama said that he planned to meet Friday with leaders from both parties “to discuss a path forward.” As a nation, he said, “we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.”