GOPs downplay March 1st sequester deadline - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

GOPs downplay March 1st sequester deadline

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The White House is sounding the alarm bell again over this week's sequester deadline.  Republicans say it's mostly hype.

There are still some big questions about how all of this will play out and the truth is that the Friday deadline may come and go without most people noticing.

On Tuesday, the President turns to the Navy, traveling to a part of Virginia that depends heavily on the continuous flow of Pentagon cash.

"That region, as everyone knows, will be particularly hard hit if the sequestration is allowed to take effect," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

And there is almost certainly some truth to that.

Defense contractors are bracing for cuts, but other claims about what is a relatively small cut in federal spending may be more dubious.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the country would be less secure.

"I'm not here to scare people, I'm here to inform and also to let people begin to plan because they're going to see these impacts in their daily lives," she said.

But what if things like long airport lines never materialize?

Most people may not even notice the sequester cuts which will take weeks or months to kick in -- and Republicans claim the President is exaggerating.

"He's far more interested in holding campaign rallies than he is in urging his Senate Democrats to actually pass a plan," said Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy adds, "If you can't handle a 2.3 percent cut, how can we put this place back in order? I don't understand the hysteria."

And the sequester may also get lost in the shuffle here.

While those automatic sequester cuts start hitting Friday, March 1st, the continuing resolution that funds the government expires on March 27th.  Flip forward to May and we're up against another federal debt ceiling -- making the sequester cuts look like petty cash.

And both parties are, to some degree, looking past the sequester already because there is almost no chance to stop it.


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