President signs order to enact budget cuts - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

President signs order to enact sequester budget cuts

Posted: Updated:
An image of the sequestration order, signaling the beginning of forced budget cuts. (Source: Buzzfeed) An image of the sequestration order, signaling the beginning of forced budget cuts. (Source: Buzzfeed)
Hours before the budget cuts known as sequestration were set to take effect, President Barack Obama has signed the order to begin $85 billion in across the board reductions. Hours before the budget cuts known as sequestration were set to take effect, President Barack Obama has signed the order to begin $85 billion in across the board reductions.

(RNN) - Hours before the budget cuts known as sequestration were set to take effect, President Barack Obama signed the order to begin $85 billion in across the board reductions.

The deadline for a deal to avoid the cuts was 11:59 p.m. Friday.

The White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday sent to Congress its report detailing cuts and laying blame for failing "to enact balanced deficit reduction legislation that avoids sequestration."

According to the Associated Press, the reductions will result in furlough notices to many government employees and will trim government spending on defense contracts and domestic government programs.

The Federal Aviation Administration says flights to major cities like New York and Chicago could face up to 90 minute delays during peak hours because of fewer air traffic controllers on duty. The FAA says they're also considering closing some air traffic control towers at less busy airports and eliminating midnight shifts at more than 60 control towers.

Seasonal employees of the country's national parks will be hired later than usual or not at all, according to Jon Jarvis, director of the National Parks Service.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has already released some illegal immigrant detainees they call low risk.

Obama met with top Congressional leaders and Vice President Joe Biden early Friday and left with no solution to the looming deadline.

At a news conference early Friday, before he signed the order to set the cuts into motion, Obama said, "Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain, though, will be real."

"The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage to our economy - a slow grind that will intensify with each passing day."

The president hoped to avoid sequestration by a package that included hiking taxes. Republicans wanted spending cuts, but said they wouldn't agree to tax hikes.

While the president put the blame for the sequestration on Republicans in Congress, Republicans say the sequestration was the president's idea in the first place.

Beginning with agreements set by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the budget cuts equate to $85 billion trimmed from the 2013 fiscal year budget, beginning March 1. Nine percent will be cut from all non-defense spending and 13 percent will be cut from defense spending.

Government benefit programs protected from sequestration are Social Security, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, food stamps, military personnel and Veterans Administration.

An image of the sequestration order has began circulating the internet since the announcement.

The last time the Senate passed a full budget for the fiscal year was in April 2009.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • LOCALLOCALMore>>

  • First lady announcing one-stop job site for vets

    First lady announcing one-stop job site for vets

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:34 AM EDT2014-04-24 05:34:03 GMT
    By JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - Aiming to streamline employment resources for people leaving the military, the government is creating an integrated website that can help job-seekersMore >>
    Aiming to streamline employment resources for people leaving the military, the government is creating an integrated website that can help job-seekers create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database of veterans and their spouses for companies to mine for skills and talents.More >>
  • US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:51 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:51:08 GMT
    By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already servedMore >>
    The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.More >>
  • Spacewalking astronauts complete urgent repair job

    Spacewalking astronauts complete urgent repair job

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:39:06 GMT
    Spacewalking astronauts easily replaced a dead computer outside the International Space Station on Wednesday and got their orbiting home back up to full strength. The two Americans on board, Rick MastracchioMore >>
    Spacewalking astronauts easily replaced a dead computer outside the International Space Station on Wednesday and got their orbiting home back up to full strength.More >>