The across-the-board spending reductions -- also known as sequestration -- scheduled for March 1 could play into the partisan politics of the broader budget debate that includes Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs.
The Washington Post: Deep Spending Cuts Are Likely, Lawmakers Say, With No Deal On Sequester In Sight
Less than a month after averting one fiscal crisis, Washington began bracing Tuesday for another, as lawmakers in both parties predicted that deep, across-the-board spending cuts would probably hit the Pentagon and other federal agencies on March 1. An array of proposals are in the works to delay or replace the cuts. But party leaders say they see no clear path to compromise, particularly given a growing sentiment among Republicans to pocket the cuts and move on to larger battles over health and retirement spending (Montgomery, 1/29).
The Associated Press: In Turnabout, GOP Lawmakers Willing To Risk Automatic Budget Cuts To Get Their Way On Budget
It's a remarkable turnabout from last year, when GOP leaders were among the loudest voices warning of dire consequences for the military and the economy if more than $100 billion worth of across-the-board cuts were allowed to take effect. Now, even as defense hawks fume, Republicans see the strategy as their best chance of wringing cuts from costly government benefit programs like Medicare that President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have been reluctant to touch (Taylor, 1/29).