|by Stephanie Boyd |
U.S. President Barack Obama officially ordered controversial spending cuts of $85 billion
WASHINGTON -- Wide-ranging federal spending cuts known as "sequestration" were officially ordered by President Obama on Friday night.
The broad cuts in federal spending, amounting to $85 billion, were put in place by President Obama after last-minute talks at the White House to avert them broke up without agreement.
The President blamed Republicans for the impasse, and warned that the spending cuts were of a magnitude that was likely to damage the U.S. economy.
The International Monetary Fund IMF also warned that the cuts could slow global economic growth.
Obama said the impact of the cuts won't immediately be felt, but middle class American families would start to feel "having their lives disrupted in significant ways."
He added that as long as the cuts stay in effect, Americans will know that the economy could have been better had they been averted.
"The pain, though, will be real," the President said.
"The longer these cuts are in place, the greater the damage."
He cited economists estimating that the cuts "could eventually cost us more than 750,000 jobs and slow our economy by over one-half of one percent."
Correspondents say attention will now turn to the next congressional challenge - a possible shutdown of the US government if no funding bill is passed in the next month.
The U.S. is struggling to tackle its growing national debt, current standing at $16.6 trillion.
Source: WPMI NBC 15 Mobile|
Late Friday evening, President Obama signed the order giving the government permission to start cutting $85 billion from federal accounts.
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