September 13, 2012
The White House will deliver to Congress on Friday a report on possible deep year-end automatic spending cuts, spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday.
The spending cuts would go into effect under a process called sequestration if lawmakers cannot reach a deal on preventing them. President Barack Obama is required under law to specify how funding for specific programs would be affected.
Cuts are expected to total $109 billion in 2013, to be split evenly among defense and non-defense programs.
Lawmakers are facing the prospect of the across-the board reductions as a result of their failure to reach a deal to reduce the yawning budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years and have already begun to blame one another for the possibility of the year-end budget cuts. The release of the White House report is likely to fan the flames of that dispute.
Members of Congress are deadlocked over a larger deficit reduction package, with Republicans refusing to consider tax increases while Democrats resist cuts to retirement and healthcare programs.
The automatic spending cuts, alongside expiring tax reductions and the anticipated need to raise the U.S. borrowing limit early next year, form what has come to be known as the “fiscal cliff” that analysts say could tip the economy into recession if Washington fails to find a way out.