Obama: Sequester Will Furlough FBI, 'Let Criminals Go'

Fred Lucas | February 19, 2013 | 1:05pm EST
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President Barack Obama greets first responders after speaking in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) President Barack Obama warned that if the automatic cuts in the sequester take effect next week, criminals will go free, parents will lose day care and airport security will be compromised.

“As a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday,” Obama said Tuesday flanked by emergency responders. “Now if Congress allows this meat cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness, it will eviscerate job creating investments, education, energy, medical research.

“It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness or a vital service that Americans depend on every day. It doesn’t make those distinctions,” the president said.

Obama signed into law and Congress agreed to increase the debt limit by $2.4 trillion in August 2011, President Barack Obama is invoking bipartisanship and calling on Congress to pass new legislation that repeals those cuts and replaces them with smaller ones. According to the book, “The Price of Politics” by Bob Woodward, the sequester was the idea of the White House.

“Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced,” Obama said. “FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays in airports across the country.

“Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off, and thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care, preventative care, flu vaccinations and cancer screenings,” he added.

Under the terms of the sequestration deal reached in 2011 – the Budget Control Act – the

Office of Management and Budget is responsible for coming up with $1.2 trillion in cuts in discretionary appropriations and mandatory spending – divided equally among defense and non-defense – to take place between 2013 and 2021.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said no one wants the sequester and called on Obama to work with Congress.

“Today the president advanced an argument Republicans have been making for a year: his sequester is the wrong way to cut spending,” Boehner said in a statement. “That’s why the House has twice passed legislation to replace it with common sense cuts and reforms that won’t threaten public safety, national security, or our economy.

“But once again, the president offered no credible plan that can pass Congress – only more calls for higher taxes,” Boehner continued. “Just last month, the president got his higher taxes on the wealthy, and he’s already back for more. The American people understand that the revenue debate is now closed.

“We should close loopholes and carve-outs in the tax code, but that revenue should be used to lower rates across the board. Tax reform is a once-in-a generation opportunity to boost job creation in America. It should not be squandered to enable more Washington spending. Spending is the problem, spending must be the focus,” Boehner said.

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