Feb 24, 2013 / 7:03 pm
The automatic budget cuts set to take hold this week were roundly condemned Sunday as the Obama administration and congressional Republicans bickered over who's to blame for the failure to reach a deal to stave off the $85 billion reduction in government services that threatens the fragile economic recovery.
The grim picture is emerging as the White House and lawmakers count down the days until the government is forced to make drastic cuts in domestic and defence spending with hardly any leeway to save some programs from the budget knife. This would affect everything from commercial flights to meat inspections.
The Obama administration upped the pressure Sunday evening by releasing state-by-state reports on the impact of the looming budget cuts in an effort designed to get hold-out lawmakers to compromise or face unhappy constituents.
The so-called sequester now approaching was never supposed to happen. It was designed as an unpalatable fallback, to take effect only in case a specially established bipartisan congressional super-committee failed to come up with $1 trillion or more in savings from government programs.
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