Sequestration countdown vexes both parties

Feb. 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A Republican U.S. senator said he was prepared to allow the so-called sequestration to go into effect for necessary cuts to federal spending.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told "Fox News Sunday" he thought sequestration was "a stupid way to cut spending," but the bottom line was spending needed to be reined in severely to avoid an economic disaster.

"There is no reason that we don't go on and cut spending, even across the sequestration," said Coburn. "Some of it is not smart, but it's the only way Washington, Republicans and Democrats, are ever going to get ... some spending cuts."

Coburn, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, blamed President Obama for a lack of leadership on the issue and said he considered the dire predictions of the impact of sequestration to be "made up."

The sequestration includes $85 billion in immediate and mandatory spending cuts that will take effect March 1 unless Congress and the Obama administration agree on a budget proposal.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the Republicans hadn't done much either in terms of leadership on the budget issue and said Washington was now to involved in the "large kabuki going on about who can get blamed."

"The biggest danger is that we've got a dysfunctional Congress that can't compromise," said McCaskill. "I'm proud to be part of the moderate middle."

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