DENVER (CBS4) – Washington is trying to reach a deal before billions of dollars in spending cuts take effect. Even though the cuts are official, many of them won’t start to kick in until April. The cuts will hit every federal agency and will impact Colorado.
The cuts will be felt across the country at all levels — schools, hospitals and more. President Obama and Republicans in Congress are already pointing fingers.
“They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit,” Obama said.
Obama and congressional leaders met for less than an hour. They didn’t even discuss alternatives to the spending cuts or when they might talk again about a solution.
The president wants to raise taxes on millionaires or eliminate corporate tax loopholes. Republicans say they raised taxes by $600 billion in the fiscal cliff deal, and now is the time to focus on spending cuts
“That the president got his tax hikes on Jan. 1, this discussion about revenue, in my view, is over,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
“Washington has got a spending addition and it’s time to begin to deal with that addiction,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.
In Colorado, 120 teachers could lose their jobs, 300 low-income children could lose child care, and 2,240 fewer children would receive vaccines. State agencies are still trying to understand the full scope of how the cuts.
“I think real crisis is that Congress can’t make decisions,” Sister Anna Koop with the Denver Catholic Worker house at Mount St. Vincent’s said.
The Denver Catholic Worker is expected to also lose funding. Koop says the emotional fallout will have an immediate effect.
“You step up to fiscal cliff and then make decision, somehow you get by it, and then there are three months that you have while you all think about it until you get to the next absolute deadline,” Koop said. “Then there’s another three months until you know what the impact of that deadline is. It seems like a very strange way to operate a government.”
Leaders in Washington say there may still be time to cut a deal to restore the funding.