(02/28/13) - Two Mid-Michigan congressmen are in Washington right now, hoping for a resolution to the sequester.
All week long, President Obama has been taking his message on the road, urging Congress to avoid sequestration. This, after the White House released a seven-page report outlining the effects the sequester would have on Michigan - including $22 million in education cuts and $10,000 civilian Defense Department employees furloughed.
"I think these catastrophic claims are not going to be realized. I think they're overplaying that by a lot," said Republican Congressman Dave Camp.
Camp says the cuts add up to just 2.5 percent of a $3 trillion budget.
"There's not a family or small business in Mid and Northern Michigan that hasn't reduced their spending by more than two-and-a-half percent over the past five years," he said.
Right now, the country's poised to hit sequestration on Friday, as the Republican-led House has not made any recent moves to avoid it.
"The House has passed twice legislation to reorder these priorities and to try to do it in a different way. Yet the president and Senate have not taken those up," Camp said.
"I'm doing my part. I've offered an alternative," said Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee.
Kildee says his alternative includes eliminating subsidies to oil companies and making the wealthy pay more in taxes.
"That's something that would generate $120 billion over the long-term and would eliminate the need for these indiscriminate cuts," he said.
But that's not something the Republican-controlled House is willing to do this time around. Kildee feels his hands are tied.
"I don't care about the blame game, but I do hope the public wakes up to the point that these are real cuts. They will have a real impact," he said.
There is a Republican bill in the Senate that would give President Obama the power to cut the $85 billion at his discretion. But even if that passes in the Senate, the House is gone after Thursday.
Although the House won't be in session, President Obama is expected to meet with party leaders from both chambers on Friday.
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