Obama orders $105 billion spending cuts, blames Republicans
WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama reluctantly ordered an US$85 billion (S$105 billion) austerity drive on Friday that could slow the US economy and slash jobs, after blaming Republicans for refusing to stop the "dumb" spending cuts.
Obama complied with his legal obligations and initiated the automatic, across-the-board cuts in domestic and defense spending, following the failure of efforts to clinch a deal with Republicans on cutting the deficit.
The president signed an order bringing the arbitrary cuts into force, saying they should be made in "strict accordance" to US law, and a report by his Office of Management and Budget detailing the cuts to each agency.
Obama had earlier blamed the austerity time bomb on Republicans, who refused to close tax loopholes used by the rich and corporations combined with more targeted spending cuts, in what he calls a "balanced" approach to deficit reduction.