- (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
With the pending automatic spending cuts set to kick in on Friday, the President once again reiterated his case that he is not able to "Jedi mind-meld" the situation, and that both Republicans and Democrats need to come together to help the American people.
If no deal is reached then the "sequester," the deal Congress enacted to force them to come up with a resolution for the country's poor financial health, will start.
$85 billion will be cut the first year alone.
"The pain, though, will be real," Obama told reporters at a press conference on Friday. "This is not a win for anybody. This is a loss for the American people."
A 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) and was tasked with cutting the deficit by an additional $1.2 - $1.5 trillion over ten years.
The failure of the committee to reach an agreement on the cuts by Nov. 21, 2011 triggered the sequestration provision in the BCA. That led to the sequestration's automatic cuts, totaling $1.2 trillion from 2013 to 2021, to take effect on March 1.
There has been blame placed on both sides, but the President maintains that Republican members of Congress made a poor choice and have failed to correct them.
"Let's be clear: None of this is necessary," Obama said. "It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. We shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things."
The sequestration provision should have kicked in on Jan. 2, 2013, but was delayed due to a provision in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The 2013 cuts will total $85 billion, and will come from discretionary spending divided between defense and non-defense programs over the next eight years.
But many GOP leaders are stating that the Pesident has not worked with them on trying to control government spending, and that focusing just on revenue in the form of higher taxes will not solve the problem.
"The president got his tax hikes on January 1st," Boehner said after meeting with Obama. "The discussion about revenue in my view is over. It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."