We are three days away from the March 1 deadline and Washington is still in the sequester standoff. President Obama is in Newport News, Virginia today where he is expected to tour and speak at a shipbuilding factory about the sequester’s potential impact on the defense industry. The White House released a state-by-state breakdown of the cuts and warned it could have a harmful impact on jobs, economic demand, the military, and other areas that will affect all of us.
Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) held a press conference where he dug into the president. Speaker Boehner said “the president says we have to have another tax increase to avoid the sequester. Well, Mr. President, you got your tax increase. It’s time to cut spending.” Currently, Senators on both sides are working on dueling bills in hopes that each party can avoid being blamed for the $85 billion cuts that will take effect on March 1. Reportedly the Congressional Republicans are preparing a plan that will let the White House have more control over implementing that $85 billion in cuts that are set to go into effect, but with no actual meeting set up between the two sides to discuss how to avoid Friday’s deadline can a deal actually be reached?
National Journal Chief Correspondent Michael Hirsh joins today’s show to discuss the military spending side of the sequester. Without a deal the Pentagon faces $43 billion in cuts this year alone, a major cut that awaits Chuck Hagel as the Senate votes to confirm him as the next Secretary of Defense. Tune in at 3 p.m. for the full conversation.