Obama ramps up threats on budget talk

Barack Obama threatens
White House is ramping up the rhetoric on the budget talks
Photo credit: Crime File News

President Barack Obama is stepping up the pressure on House Republicans to come up with a short-term resolution to the sequestration cuts scheduled for March 1.

The White House on Thursday said the cuts would result in poor children being kicked out of education programs, insufficient funds being loaned small businesses and fewer food inspectors, which would leave the nation’s food supply vulnerable to deadly food-borne illnesses.

On Sunday, the White House stepped up its threats, according to The Washington Times.

“Across the government, we’ll see assistance programs slashed; we’ll see contracts cut; we’ll see employees out of work,” said David Werfel, the federal controller for the White House’s Office of Management.

Specifically, Wertel told The Times, the cuts would result in:

600,000 women and children losing food stamps.

100,000 formerly homeless people losing their government-financed housing.

Cuts to special-education money that would eliminate federal support for 7,200 school employees around the country.

Potential furloughs for job-safety inspectors, which the White House warned, “would leave workers unprotected and could lead to an increase in worker fatality and injury rates.”

Republicans fired back, pointing out that the whole idea of a sequester was first broached by the president.

“This was a presidential suggestion back in 2011,” U.S. Re. Tom Cole, R-Okla. told the Times. “And yet the president himself hasn’t put out any alternative. Republicans twice in the House have passed legislation to deal with it, once as early as last May; again, after the election in December. The Senate never picked up either of those bills, never offered their own thing. Now, we’re three weeks out, and folks are worried. They ought to be worried.”

One major bone of contention is the White House’s insistence on including revenue hikes alongside spending cuts.

Representing Democratic support for the effort, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appeared on “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace.

“It’s almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem,” Pelosi said told Wallace. “We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address.”

Read more at The Washington Times.

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