Sequestration is a group of cuts to federal spending which took effect March 1, 2013. Sequestration was originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), better known as the debt ceiling compromise. It was intended to serve as incentive for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the “Supercommittee”) to come to a deal to cut $1.5 trillion over 10 years. If the committee had done so, and Congress had passed it by Dec. 23, 2011, then the sequester would have been averted. Obviously, that didn’t happen. The Budget Control Act originally stipulated that the sequester cuts would take effect at the beginning of 2013. A deal was reached to avert the cliff, in which the sequester was delayed to March 1. February 28th came and went without any modification bill being negotiated in Congress. The sequester automatic cuts took effect March 1, 2013.
White House retreats from doomsday spending cuts predictions.

The White House retreated from its doomsday predictions Sunday about the impact of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that have kicked in -- as Republican leaders appeared at least satisfied about delivering on their promise to limit government spending and hold down taxes.

Gene Sperling, the White House's top economic adviser, repeatedly said the cuts will not hurt as much on “Day One” as they will over the long haul.

“Nobody ever suggested that this … was going to have all its impact in the first few days,” he told “NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It is a slow grind.”

His remarks are in contrast to weeks of President Obama and his Cabinet warning that the cuts will result in furloughs or pay cuts for middle-class wage-earners such as teachers, Capitol Hill janitors and air traffic controllers, which they said could cause 90-minutes delays at major U.S. airports.

Sperling declined at least twice to directly answer questions about whether the worst-case-scenario rhetoric has hurt the president’s credibility on the issue. He instead stuck to his argument that independent economists forecast the cuts will result in 750,000 fewer jobs and that corporate executives now anticipate slower economic growth.

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