White House seeks 'balanced way' to budget fix
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is concerned about the effect that looming, drastic across-the-board budget cuts will have on the middle class, his new chief of staff said Sunday.
Congressional Republicans predicted the cuts would start as scheduled next month and blamed Mr Obama not only for doing little to stop them but for the idea itself.
The cuts, called the sequester, would drain US$85 billion from the government's budget over the coming seven months. Actual cuts may be around 13 per cent for defence and 9 per cent for other programmes because lawmakers delayed their impact, requiring savings over a shorter period of time.
Last week, the White House last week let loose a list of ways Americans would feel the cuts, from longer waits at airport security to as many as 13,000 teachers being laid off.