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Sequester effects already being felt

9:40 AM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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By Steve Handelsman, NBC News

The federal spending cuts of sequestration are just kicking in, but the White House claims the effects are already being felt at some of the nation's airports.

Fewer TSA and U.S. Customs agents are working, with overtime all but eliminated.

"The New York airports got through okay, but that is going to be temporary. So, we will see these effects cascade over the next week," warned Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

In the fall schools could suffer teacher layoffs.

President Obama convened his cabinet Monday to discuss the cuts, but Republicans charge Mr. Obama is maximizing the impact of sequester and endangering defense.

"Removing these resources so drastically places American families and our allies, such as Israel, at risk of future attacks," claims South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson.

The president hopes sequester will pressure Republicans into a tax hike on the rich.

"Eventually a lot of people are going to feel some pain. That's why we've got to keep on working to reduce our deficit in a balanced way," he argues.

GOP lawmakers say that won't happen.

"I think the President miscalculated and thought that sooner or later we would agree to revenue in this case, and that's just never been in the cards," says Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole.

NBC News

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