The third and final debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney included a surprise declaration from the president that billions in across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, will not take place.
More than $1.2 trillion in sequestration cuts are called for under last year’s Budget Control Act, which was how congressional lawmakers concluded their bitter fight over raising the country’s debt ceiling. The idea was to mandate cuts that would be so destructive to defense and non-defense programs that members of Congress would work together to find an acceptable alternative.
“First of all, the sequester is not something I proposed. It’s something that Congress proposed,” said the President in response to criticism from Romney. “It will not happen.”
Barring a legislative compromise to reduce the deficit, the sequestration cuts would begin on January 2, 2013 and destroy more than two million U.S. jobs by the end of 2013.
“While Congress has yet to propose a workable alternative to sequestration, it’s encouraging to hear the President is resolved to prevent it from taking place,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “But with only 70 days before the cuts are set to take effect, Congress and the President need to move without delay to address this crisis.”