Obama authorizes massive cuts to public spending
March 2, 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama signed an order formally to authorize the implementation of massive cuts in public spending by about 85,000 billion, the White House said.
According to the order signed by Obama, the cuts for fiscal year 2013 that ends in September will be produced according to the amounts calculated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in its report sent to Congress today.
Obama authorized the massive cuts after a pact agreed in August 2011 by Congress to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a plan to reduce deficit that was not achieved. So, the Pentagon will suffer cuts by 13% while the other programs unrelated to defense will face cuts by about 9%.
In parallel to Obama’s order, the OMB also sent to Congress a report detailing the amount and percentage of the cuts that will be implemented. In the 83-page document, addressed to both houses of Congress, the OMB notes that the cuts will have an effect “deeply destructive to national security, domestic investment, and the main functions of government.”
He added that the Pentagon cuts will produce a reduction in the preparation of many units, delays in investment in new equipment, equipment repair and the proper maintenance of facilities; interruptions in research and development efforts.
The document breaks down the percentages of reductions in all federal agencies and programs, including agencies involved in foreign assistance, but does not require cuts to specific countries. Thus, the Peace Corps will suffer in the next seven months a reduction of $ 19 million, while the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will have cuts for some 300 million dollars.
At the meeting held on Friday at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama, and the Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress ended without an agreement to try to prevent the entry into force of the automatic cuts in public spending from this midnight.