Hundreds of thousands of Americans could head to the polls in November with fresh pink slips from firms that do business with the federal government, potentially upending key races across the country.
If Congress fails to pass a broad debt reduction package this year that would reduce the federal debt by $1.2 trillion, around $500 billion in separate cuts to defense and domestic entitlement budgets would go into effect Jan. 1.
In a report released Thursday, The Bipartisan Policy Center predicts the result could be 1 million additional unemployed Americans.
James Jones, a former national security adviser to President Barack Obama and a retired Marine Corps general, called the notion of the deep automatic cuts "foolish," adding: "The consequences of not doing something now are huge."
Read more about the potentially higher unemployment.