- Category: World News
- Written by Reuters
President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to pass a small package of spending cuts and tax reforms to delay larger, automatic cuts from going into effect and damaging the economy on March 1.
But Republican leaders quickly rebuffed his proposals, rejecting what they saw as a bid for new tax increases after lawmakers agreed to raise rates for top US earners earlier this year.
If launched as scheduled, the cuts—dubbed the “sequester”—would reduce federal spending across the board by about $85 billion for one year, split evenly between military and domestic programmes. The total of reductions through 2022 would amount to roughly $1.2 trillion.
Obama said he still believed a broad, balanced plan to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction was possible, and he said his proposals to do so during “fiscal cliff” talks with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner last year were still on the table.
With only a few weeks before the spending cuts go into force, however, Obama urged lawmakers to agree to a small package now that would avert economic damage and give them more time to negotiate a broader deal.
“So if Congress can’t act immediately on a bigger package ... then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution,” Obama told reporters.—Reuters