February 22nd, 2013
10:33 AM ET
2 years ago

When do the forced spending cuts kick in?

Washington (CNN) - By now everyone knows the forced federal spending cuts trigger March 1 - a week from Friday - and will strip $85 billion from federal agencies over the next seven months.

But when exactly do they kick in?

It turns out President Barack Obama gets to decide - but must issue an order to begin sequestration, as the cuts are known in Washington, by 11:59 p.m. on March 1, according to an official with the Office of Management and Budget.

As that happens, the OMB would send a report to Congress as required under the law "detailing the reductions in each budgetary account," the official said.

The Obama administration has previously said defense budget accounts would feel the most heat with cuts of about 13%. Non-defense spending would be cut by about 9%, they said, while some entitlement spending for programs including Medicare and Social Security are sheltered from the cuts.

The president called House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - the top two Republicans on Capitol Hill - and talked about the forced budget cuts, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.

Two polls released Thursday showed more Americans want the cuts delayed than to take effect. A Pew and USA Today poll found 49% said the cuts should be paused while a Bloomberg poll put that number at 54%. Four in ten wanted the cuts to take effect, each poll found.

The Pew poll also showed more Americans would put the blame for the cuts on Republicans than on Obama.

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. SuperD

    I can't wait for the pain to start! It's going to be an opportunity for the low information Democrat voter to reap what they have sowed!

    I also am hearing stories about small business owners who in order to get under 50 employees to avoid the ruin of Obamacare, are firing the employees who voted for Obama. That is really good news! And Justice served!

    There aint no free lunch people, what goes up must come down, enjoy the high you are on, the crash is going to hurt

    February 22, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "and will strip $85 billion from federal agencies over the next seven months."

    Must be all those goodies Mr. Boehner was so giddy about when he jumped for joy during that press conference of his stating he (and his Republican controlled House) got 98% of what he wanted.

    I think I'll just sit back and watch how all those Boehner cuts play out in Red State America.

    February 22, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    When Obama is ready to make them, to brain wash the public into believing they are real.

    We know they are NOT real, because they only cut GROWTH in spending, and not real spending.

    Obama, will however, use his usual brain washing techniques, to convince the public, the Republicans are bad guys, who don't care about the people. That will be entirely orchestrated and untrue, but Obama plays for power........not for what's RIGHT!

    February 22, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Remus Redbone

    Dreded spending cuts of a massive 2.5%. Good thing it's not 4%. The moon would fall out of orbit or something even more serious might happen (or might not).

    February 22, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    Ya got your increase in revenue, re: higher taxes on the evil rich. Now "It's cuttin time!"

    February 22, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. John

    Social Security and Medicare are self-funded programs by employees/employers. They cannot be touched because they are SEPERATE from the General Fed Govt BUDGET. Thus, the real (income tax supported) entitlement programs are: Medicaid, most Veterans' Administration programs, federal employee and military retirement plans, unemployment compensation, food stamps, and agricultural price support programs. These writers need to understand that and stop spreading "entitlement confusion" in their articles.

    February 22, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. LWJR

    No Republican is going to work with Obama after the last two CLIFF-FARCES. All he does is SPEND SPEND SPEND, he got SOCIALISM on his MIND MIND MIND

    February 22, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. bcrunner

    When the cuts begin to take effect, and the unemployment rate goes up and the stock market goes down, then people will realize how bad these cuts are at this time in the recovery. In every recession in the past federal spending has increased to get us out and federal employment has gone up. This is the first recession where federal empoyment has plunged during a recovery. Yes, we need to cut spending but after the economy has healed a lot more. I wonder. Do people want to see what's happening in Europe here as well?

    February 22, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Mike A.

    When will the jerks in Washington learn what "entitlement" means???
    "Entitlement is a free service."

    We PAID for Social Security. We paid for Medicare These are NOT freebies, they were paid
    for over our working careers through taxes.

    February 22, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Ancient Texan

    2.4% of the huge overbloated budget is reason to run around the country at taxpayer's expense and scream that" the sky is falling"? Get serious, it is what Obama suggested and threatened to veto any attempt to get around sequester.

    February 22, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Mike A.

    Medicare and Social Security are NOT Entitlement programs. I paid for these over 50 years of my professional lifetime through taxes. Entitlement programs are giveaways.

    February 22, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    SuperD wrote:

    I can't wait for the pain to start! It's going to be an opportunity for the low information Democrat voter to reap what they have sowed!
    -------------
    A most curious post, this one is. "Democrat voter to reap ....."

    This post sounds like it comes from a person who didn't vote for Pres. Obama, and is cheering on the fact that those who did for him will "reap what they have sowed." But, isn't Pres. Obama pleading and begging against the cuts kicking in? If I didn't know better, I would say that this person is *pleased* that voters are beilng punished for the crime of *voting for* Pres. Obama.

    February 22, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. critical thinking

    Let the cutting begin. Maybe then people will understand that the Govt has been conning them, telling them that they will give them stuff if they would elect them. while all along they have been taking from one group to give to another. amreicans need to self reliant and stop looking for hand outs. the culture needs to change from entiltlement to empowerment. stop wanting the the next generation to fund the present generation, it's a govt ponzi scheme that has to end.

    February 22, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. IRONMIKE

    Time to bite the bullet. Tell the SPENDOCRATS to learn how to live on what they get.

    February 22, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. JJ

    The Democrats came up with this paln and some very stupid Republicans voted for it.
    It's on both sides now.
    However, let us NOT forget that it's and foremost a Democrat plan that they never expected to enact.
    Now we'll how this President will SPIN HIS PLAN.

    February 22, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. empresstrudy

    Jack Lew invented sequester. Obama sold it.

    February 22, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. steve

    all scare tactics
    the dems are afraid the cuts will kick in and the beat will go on!

    February 22, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Blame...are Americans losing their minds! We are in debt up to our ying yang! This President reflects the other half who has no concept on how to manage their money!

    February 22, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Jerry Hoefen

    Spending cuts wont cut it,reality check its what goverment spending money it borrows the problem . Between local state federal goverment spend billions on imports like 100000 ipads3 for air force. This wont create jobs only incouages companys to out source work from usa. Congress passed law goverment cont borrow money or buy products from companys who outsourced work an jobs. Cost of those 100000 IPADS3 tripled if you take into account cost of unemployment . We need to make Made In USA priority if goverment going to buy anything saving goverment billions in unemployment cost

    February 22, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. tarura

    What is $85B over 7 months? The gov spends some $4B per day, that makes it roughly 21 days with no spending,
    or 21 days / 7 months = just about 10% of tightened belt for 7 months.

    I've been tightening my belt for the past 4 years by at least 25% and survived.

    February 22, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Tracy

    CNN just in case you don't know SS and Medicare are not entitlements I've paid my whole working life into these programs and it's my money! The stiffs that never paid a penny into them and yet reap their benefits are entitlements for sure! Your man Obama put the sequester in place and now he want to bail out! He is such a phony!

    February 22, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. ImpeachObama

    What a crock of a fear mongering headline from liberal CNN trying to tout Obama's agenda.

    THEY ARE NOT CUTS AND THEY WERE HIS IDEA. It is just a pulled back from proposed increase in spending.

    February 22, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. AreYouKidding?

    When do the spending cuts kick in? ROFLMAO! They don't fools. At least not until after the midterm elections. Obama and the Democrats have absolutely no intention of even addressing their irresponsible behavior. They never did. Their entire existence in Washington has been nothing more than the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. They rail on Republicans so hard because it distracts from their own failure and utter stupidity. Don't get me wrong, Republicans aren't that much (if any) better, but they're not in charge right now. Democrats are. That's why I get so furious and frankly insulted when Democrats claim they haven't done the right thing because the MINORITY part has prevented it. Bull pucky. UNBELIEVABLE bull pucky. You got the most nonsensical legislation in history passed (The "Affordable" Healthcare Act (HA!)) under these conditions even though anyone with a brain knew it would in fact make healthcare MORE expensive for anybody with a job. You know, their "concern" for middle class they keep conning you about. Get the hooks out of your mouths, people!

    February 22, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. tarura

    What is $85B versus some $17T of national debt? this is merely 0.5% and that is in long 7 months
    Hurray ! We can be debt free in some 150 years. Halleluya !

    We need to be doing better than this, that is more and more often

    February 22, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Paul / Virginia

    I'm saddened that most U.S. citizens are "low news" people. It is a shame that the ill-informed are so easily duped into believing the liberal media and their agenda and more importantly take what our POTUS's says as “fact”.
    Cuts are a necessary evil that we must all endure so that our elected officials finally get off their butts and do what they are supposed to do...balance a budget and look for solutions vice being partisan. January 2013 we all found out what happens when our checks decreased in size. WAKE UP...we are all losing our rights, our freedoms, and our hard earned money. Freedom shouldn’t mean the gov’t takes care of you.

    February 22, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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