Obama says sequester has slowed US growth, led to job losses

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday said he was continuing conversations with Republican lawmakers on a deficit reduction deal, but that the automatic government spending cuts known as the sequester have slowed US growth and led to job losses.

Steep across-the-board spending cuts went into effect on March 1 after the White House and congressional Republicans failed to agree on a broader deficit reduction package.