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Republicans will compromise as cuts bite: White House

Published on Mar 4, 2013 6:15 AM
The White House is seen through trees from the National Mall in Washington, March 3, 2013. Spending cuts known as 'sequestration' could threaten the US economic recovery, could disrupt federal services from airports to national parks, and may force furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and employees of federal contractors, the Obama administration says. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - As the blame game over a stinging package of deficit-reducing spending cuts grinds on, the White House said on Sunday that as voters start to feel the pain, Republicans will pivot and seek compromise.

But the Republicans did not sound like they were in any mood to budge, with the party's Senate leader Mitch McConnell saying the American people understood it was time for belt-tightening.

The administration of President Barack Obama denied suggestions it was hyping the consequences of the so-called sequester - US$85 billion (S$105.7 billion) in military and domestic spending cuts crammed into the seven remaining months of the fiscal year.

Mr Gene Sperling, a top economic adviser to Mr Obama, made the rounds of morning talk shows to press the case that the president is still working the phones and seeking out lawmakers in both parties who are open to an alternative way to trim the bloated US$1 trillion a year deficit.

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