Automatic cuts re-emerge as budget battle issue

Associated Press + More

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The broad, automatic spending cuts known as sequestration have re-emerged as a central issue in efforts to end the partial government shutdown and avert a federal default.

Many conservatives view the past seven months of lower spending as one of their rare accomplishments and want it to continue. But some defense hawks see the next round of cuts falling almost entirely on the Pentagon and many Republicans want to shift that burden to domestic programs.

The automatic cuts were not as harsh as many people feared. But easing or eliminating them come January is shaping up to be a focus of any budget talks once the government fully reopens. At a minimum, leaders in both parties want to give agencies more flexibility on where to cut.

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