President Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to pass a short-term budget plan to avoid a series of automatic cuts that would go into effect on March 1.
Speaking in the White House briefing room, the president said that Congress “should at least pass a small package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester,” adding that thousands of Americans could lose their jobs unless Congress acts — sequestration would cut deeply into defense and domestic programs such as education.
“Our economy right now is headed in the right direction and it will stay that way, so long as there are no more self-inflicted wounds coming out of Washington,” Obama said.
The temporary plan put forth by the president is meant to give lawmakers a few more months to negotiate a long-term deal. He again called for a “balanced approach” to reducing the nation’s deficit through a mix of tax revenues and spending cuts.
Obama emphasized the importance of tax reform, again calling for ending loopholes and deductions for corporations and the wealthy as a deficit-reduction measure.
“We can’t just cut our way to prosperity,” the president said. “Deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security, will cost us jobs and it will slow down our recovery. It’s not the right thing to do for the economy. It’s not the right thing for folks who are out there still looking for work.”