Obama administration, Republicans disagree on sequester effects

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March 5, 2013, 6:24 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) - The slow roll-out of these latest budget cuts from Washington is giving the government time to figure out how to deal with them and prevent the next fiscal disaster.

We could see action this week to prevent the shutdown, but the cuts are starting to have an effect. Lawmakers got the memo to cut their office budgets by a little over eight percent.

Passengers are now feeling the effects of Washington's budget cuts:

"I flew before sequestration and now after, the line is definitely longer."

The Pentagon says it'll furlough 15,000 military teachers and close commissaries one day a week.

Plus, labor unions are bracing for impact:

"Substituting more budget cuts will do just as much harm to the economy as these cuts will," says AFL-CIO Deputy Director of Policy Kelly Ross.

At his first cabinet meeting this year, President Obama said families will be hurt:

“It's not the right way for us to go about deficit reduction."

Republicans argue the administration's exaggerating the effect of these cuts:

"Does anybody in this country believe that our federal government is so efficient and so effective that we cannot afford to trim two pennies out of every dollar," asks Rep. Luke Messer.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan backed off claims teachers are already getting pink slips but warned schools will suffer:

"Whether it’s to teachers, to guidance counselors to support staff...none of these things are good for children or for education."

On Thursday, the House votes on a temporary budget to prevent a government shutdown.
That budget freezes spending and keeps the cuts in effect for most government agencies.

Are there some that would actually get more money?

The Pentagon and Veterans Affairs get the increases they asked for. NASA, the FBI and Border Patrol are protected from furloughs and cuts, along with federal prisons and firefighters out west. There's an extra two billion to secure U.S. embassies abroad. And they've found money to continue repairs on the Capitol Dome.

Tags: AFL-CIO, President Barack Obama, budget cuts, Arne Duncan, government shutdown, NBC News, Tracie Potts, education secretary, Kelly ross, rep. luke messer, temporary budget
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