Reporting Vic Carter
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — One week and counting until automatic spending cuts known as the sequester kick in. Unless Congress comes up with a compromise, jobs and services we all count on could be in jeopardy.
Vic Carter reports it appears both sides are far apart on a deal.
President Obama says it’s up to Republicans to stop massive automatic spending cuts.
On the same day he spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner on the phone, he told Al Sharpton’s radio listeners the GOP appears willing to see the cuts go through.
“Their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations and they would prefer to see these kinds of cuts,” he said.
If the president and Congress can’t reach a deal, the cuts will kick in one week from Friday.
Congress returns to work next week. The president told WJZ he’s hopeful that they will come back ready to work.
“I’m hoping that while they’re back home they’re hearing it from their constituents so when they get back here, they’re ready to do some work and we can avoid these automatic spending cuts,” he said.
Governor Martin O’Malley was with a group of governors meeting with President Obama Friday. He too is worried about the potential impact on Maryland.
“We in the middle of a region of science and security and this sequestration is a job killer. It would hurt our middle class,” O’Malley said.
But Republicans believe the cuts are being blown out of proportion. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement:
“President Obama has said that unless he gets a second tax hike, he will be forced to let criminals loose on the streets, the meat at your grocery store won’t be inspected and emergency responders will be unable to do their jobs. These are all false choices.”
The Secretary of Transportation says if the sequestration takes effect, there will be major delays for passengers at the nation’s airports because of furloughs of TSA workers and control tower workers.