by Devon Sellers
Automatic spending cuts will take effect if Congress doesn't step in by the end of next week.
These spending cuts, also known as sequestration, will kick in March 1st. They were designed to be so severe that they'd force lawmakers to reach a budget deal. But that hasn't happened, and now the president is pushing a short-term fix.
"I believe such a balanced approach that combines tax reform with some additional spending reforms done in a smart, thoughtful way is the best way to finish the job of deficit reduction and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery, put people out of work," said President Obama.
But U.S. Representative Martha Roby points out, this was his idea. It was designed to force lawmakers to create a budget.
"He says he wants a balanced approach with revenue and spending cuts, well he got his tax increase in January. Now it's time to look at mandatory spending cuts that we know are the only we are going to restore fiscal sanity," said Roby.
Roby insists they look at programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Food Stamps.
"If we don't make those changes we can cut discretionary spending all day long, but we will never restore that fiscal sanity," said Roby.
The 85 billion dollars in cuts to federal agencies could lead to furloughs for as many as 2 million workers.
The pentagon fears this could have a drastic effect on the military.
"It's going to be felt in areas beyond our military, but of course those of us who want to be sure our men and women in uniform have everything they need to accomplish the mission that's given, this could be devastating. Our joint chiefs have said this will hollow out our force," said Roby.
Obama said, "My door is open. I've put tough cuts and reforms on the table. I'm willing to work with anybody to get this job done."
Congress is on recess this week. They will be back in session on Monday. That gives them about 5 days to reach a new deal before the sequester kicks in.