A sequester will go into effect Friday, after a Republican measure to offset the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts associated with the budget act was rejected by Senate leadership Thursday. A Democratic proposal also fell short of the 60 votes needed.
The GOP's bill that would have given President Barack Obama the flexibility to implement the $85 billion in spending cuts was rebuffed 38 to 62. The measure was struck down by both Democrats and tea party members. On the other hand, the Democrats' proposal failed 51 to 49 and wasn't popular among Republicans, as expected.
The Democrat’s bill is a $110 billion alternative that includes a mixture of spending cuts and new tax revenue to be derived from taxing millionaires at a minimum 30 percent income tax rate. It will also cut agricultural subsidies and close corporate tax loopholes.
Sequester takes effect midnight on Friday.
Both Democrats and Republicans have agreed that the impact of sequestration will be harmful to the department of defense, in terms of military readiness, and to the economy, which is still in a sluggish, fragile recovery.
The next act in the budget drama? President Obama is scheduled to hold a meeting with congressional leaders on Friday, after the sequester takes effect.
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