Updated: Friday, 01 Mar 2013, 11:39 PM EST
Published : Friday, 01 Mar 2013, 6:54 PM EST
WASHINGTON (WAVY) - No deal was reached to avoid $85 billion in spending cuts known as the sequester.
In a press conference, President Barack Obama said the sequester will go into effect at midnight on Friday.
President Obama met with Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle Friday. The meeting went on for less than hour to see if a compromise could be met, but nothing came out that meeting.
Speaker of the House John Boehner says he asked the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to come up with a plan to avoid the spending cuts. The cuts would affect a lot of people in Hampton Roads from shipyard workers, to Head Start programs, to the meat industry.
Both sides in Congress still can't agree on a plan to avoid these cuts, and each side is laying blame on the other as to why these cuts can't be avoided.
"Let's be clear, " the president said. "None of this is necessary. It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They've allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit. "
The president said the fallout of sequestration will include hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, reduce services in an economy that will be hampered amid continued sluggish growth. He claims we missed Friday's deadline because congressional republicans refused to consider any revenue increases.
Republicans quickly disagreed. Speaker Boehner countered by saying the fault was the president's for insisting increased taxes be part of this resolution.
"Let's make it clear that the President got his tax hikes on Jan. 1. The discussion about revenue in my view is over," House Speaker John Boehner said. "It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."
President Obama said the effects of the spending cuts may take weeks or months for some people to feel, while others like ship builders and the military could feel it right away.
During his press conference on sequestration President Obama mentioned shipyard workers he met during his visit to Newport News Tuesday. The threat of the sequester has already affected deployments and military contracts in Hampton Roads. That is only the beginning.
President Obama says these budget cuts could reach affect everything from college financial aids to Head Start, to the meat industry. Neither side in Congress is budging and now the president is asking the American people to dig deep to get through this.
"As you know I just met with leaders of both parties to discuss a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts take that starts to take effect today. I told them these cuts would hurt our economy, cost us jobs, and that both sides need to be willing to compromise. The good news is the American people are strong and resilient. They fought hard to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and we will get through this as well, even with cuts in place, folks all across this country will work hard to make sure we keep the recovery going, but Washington sure isn't making it easy," President Obama said.
"I'm hopeful that we won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we're dealing with the sequester at the same time," Boehner said.
Some lawmakers in Washington are willing to reach down in their own wallets until something is done about the budget. Senators Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson introduced legislation on Friday that would cut pay for members of Congress until a compromise on sequestration is reached. Congress is currently out of session.
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