Facing yet another fiscal deadline, President Barack Obama is urging congressional Republicans to accept more tax revenue in order to avert looming, across-the-board budget cuts due to take effect in less than two weeks.
Obama, fresh off a three-day Florida golfing trip, was to press his case during an event at the White House on Tuesday morning. Emergency responders, a group of workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of the cuts, were joining him.
The $85 billion in cuts, known as the sequester, will start taking effect on March 1 unless Congress acts. The White House says the sequester could derail an economy still suffering from high unemployment and sluggish growth.
Obama wants to offset the sequester through a combination of targeted spending cuts and increased tax revenue. The White House is backing a proposal unveiled last week by Senate Democrats that is in line with the President’s principles.
But that plan was met with an icy reception by Republicans, who oppose raising more tax revenue in order to offset the cuts. GOP leaders say the President got the tax increases he wanted at the beginning of the year when Congress agreed to raise taxes on family income above $450,000 a year.
The White House said Obama on Tuesday would call on congressional Republicans to compromise and accept the Senate Democrats’ proposal.