After failed negotiations, the federal government will be forced to cut $85 billion from the budget, which will put a restraint on federal spending this year.
According to CNN, President Barack Obama on Mar. 1 put the blame on Congress, citing their failure to come up with a balanced budget plan to offset the deep cuts. Obama met with top congressional leaders on Mar. 1, but told the press shortly after the meeting was over that there would be no deal on the sequester. He called the cuts "dumb, arbitrary cuts" and also said that they were "unnecessary and inexcusable". He went on to tell the press:
I genuinely believe there's an opportunity for us to cooperate. What doesn't make sense is to replace this set of arbitrary cuts with an even worse set of arbitrary cuts.
In what might be a small silver lining to an otherwise bleak day on Capitol Hill, Republican House Speaker John Boehner told the press that the House will take up the issue of funding the government through Mar. 27 to prevent a government shutdown. Boehner also expressed that he is still against more tax revenue and will not accept more revenue as a part of a budget deal. He told the press:
I am hopeful we won’t have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we are dealing with the sequester at the same time.
The sequester will force the government to cut around 9 percent of non-defense programs and 13 percent for defense programs over the rest of the current fiscal year. The cuts were put into the law-books on 2011 as leverage if Congress failed to come up with a more sensible plan to reduce the deficit.
Sequester cuts kicked in at midnight on Mar. 1, but will not be felt until April, when federal employee furloughs are set to begin.