Obama Threatens Severe Cuts if He Doesn’t Get His Way

The White House on Sunday stepped up pressure on Republicans to adopt a short-term budget patch that would cancel the $85 billion in spending “sequesters” due on March 1, saying that government spending is still needed to prop up a stubbornly sluggish economy.

Late last week, White House officials laid out a list of potential cuts they would have to make if the sequesters aren’t averted, saying they’d be forced to kick children out of the Head Start education program and cut federal loans to small businesses. The officials even warned that more American workers could die as a result of furloughs for occupational safety inspectors.

Those are the latest moves in what’s become a continuous chess match between the GOP and Democrats as the former pushes for spending cuts, and the latter argue for higher taxes.

“We should have a debate over how to best reduce the deficit,” White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said in a blog Sunday, expanding on an attack the administration began last week. “But with only three weeks until these indiscriminate cuts hit, Congress should find a short-term package to give themselves a little more time to find a solution to permanently turn off the sequester. That package should have balance and include spending cuts and revenues.”

By balance, the White House means tax increases.

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