Surrounded by first responders who may be impacted by looming budget cuts, U.S. U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building February 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama urged action to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled to hit next Friday if Congress does not find a path on balanced deficit reduction (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is warning that "people will lose their jobs" if across-the-board budget cuts take effect as scheduled next week.
Obama says the $85 billion in cuts - known as the sequester - are "severe" and says they won't help the economy and won't create jobs.
Obama is calling the across-the-board cuts a "meat cleaver" approach to reducing the deficit. He says the cuts would impact the nation's military readiness and investment in areas like education.
He's calling on Republicans to back a plan proposed by Senate Democrats that would offset the sequester through a combination of increased tax revenue and targeted budget cuts. GOP lawmakers are opposed to more tax revenue, saying Obama got the tax increases he wanted during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.