JUST HOURS after across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a compromise to halt a fiscal crisis that threatens the economy and his broader domestic policy agenda.
The failure by Obama and Republicans to agree to halt the $85b ‘sequester’ cuts virtually guaranteed that fiscal issues would remain center stage in Washington for weeks, crowding out Obama’s proposals to reform immigration, tighten gun laws and raise the minimum wage.
The economic effects of the spending cuts may take time to kick in, but political blowback has already begun and is hitting Obama as well as congressional Republicans.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Friday showed neither Republicans nor Obama and his fellow Democrats escaping blame.
Obama’s approval rating dropped to 47 per cent in a Gallup poll on Friday, down from 51 per cent in the previous three-day period measured.