Congress returns next week ahead of sequester

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February 23, 2013, 9:52 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Brian Mooar) - Congress is returning to the Capitol this week after a week-long vacation - and another big spending fight is looming.

However, before Congress resumes the fight over automatic spending cuts known as the sequester, governors meeting in Washington this weekend are calling on elected leaders in the nation's capital to avoid across-the-board cuts that could hurt the economy.

"The uncertainty of sequestration is really harming our state's and national economy," Okla. Governor Mary Fallin said.

If Congress can't find some middle ground and agree on some big spending cuts, automatic and across-the-board spending cuts will slash the military and defense budgets.

"Sequestration was originally designed by both the administration and Congress as something so odious, so repellent that it would force both sides to a compromise," Colo. Governor John Hickenlooper said.

Right now, the chances of a deal aren't looking great.

The President blames Republicans.

"Are they seriously prepared to inflict more pain on the middle class because they refuse to ask anything more of those at the very top?" President Obama said.

However, Republicans blame President Obama.

"In fact, House Republicans have already passed two bills to replace the president's sequester, so the question is why would he work with us, and the answer quite simply is because he wants higher taxes," N.D. Senator John Hoeven said.

In the meantime, the countdown clock is ticking down to March 1, and a belt-tightening that will squeeze just about everyone.

Tags: congress, Washington DC, spending cuts, Brian Moore, sequester, defense spending cuts
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