Obama threatens to veto changes to $1.2T in cuts

November 21, 2011 - 7:10 PM
Obama Debt Supercommittee

President Barack Obama makes a statement at the White House after the congressional debt supercommittee failed to reach an agreement on debt reduction on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he will veto any effort to get rid of automatic spending cuts that would take effect in 2013 if Congress can't find other ways of trimming government deficits.

Those spending cuts include significant reductions to the Pentagon that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said would be devastating to the military.

Obama issued his threat Monday an hour after leaders of Congress' deficit-reduction supercommittee announced that they had failed to reach agreement on cutting the debt. The inability of the committee to meet its deadline means the government is facing about $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts in January 2013.

Obama said the threat of those reductions should remain in place to maintain pressure on Congress find a compromise.