WASHINGTON—After weeks of inaction from Congress, forced spending cuts will go into effect.
The president says he hoped this drastic measure would force both sides to reach a compromise.
However, that hasn’t happened and we’re getting word that members of Congress have gone home.
Rep. Eliot Engel, (D) New York, said, “It’s an absolute disgrace that we’re going home. We should stay here until the sequester has ended. This is a stupid way to do it.”
On the eve of the painful cuts, lawmakers left town pointing fingers at each other’s unwillingness to bend.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, said, “We might as well get a pink slip from the office of the speaker of the Republican Conference to 750,000 American workers, laid out because of sequester implementation.”
Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, said, “We’ve done our work. They’ve not done theirs. The House shouldn’t have to pass a third bill to replace the sequester before the Senate passes one.”
Now President Obama will likely issue an order that will cut $85 billion in federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year.
He is expected to meet congressional leaders Friday at the White House but expectations for that meeting are low.
Observers say both parties will use this as an opportunity to emphasize their points before a government shutdown.
President Obama must order the spending cuts by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.
White House aides say the president is not likely to sign it until after his meetings with party leaders.