Countdown to $85 Billion in Sequester Budget Cuts

Jon Karl reports on the latest news on the American budget battle.
1:45 | 02/22/13

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Transcript for Countdown to $85 Billion in Sequester Budget Cuts
Back home in washington, there were alarming predickedzs about what will happen to all of us and american life one week from tonight if those mandatory budget cuts crash down, 85 billion by law. So will it actually take place? What will hit first? Abc's jonathan karl on the sequester bearing down. Reporter: With absolutely no deal on the horizon, those cuts are almost certain to go into effect. The question is -- how bad will it really be? The white house brought out the transportation secretary today to warn of massive delays at airport across the country. You're going to be delayed. Calamity. This is a big deal. Reporter: And it's not just airport hell. The administration has warned of meat shortages, greater risk of fewer fbi agents, kids thrown out of childcare and worse -- warnings ridiculed by the president's opponents. This is hardship on a whole lot of people. Seniors -- middle class families. Reporter: We've heard about more wildfires, more workplace deaths, higher risk of terrorism, criminals set free. Is there any exaggeration going on here? All of those things come from reduced numbers of people fighting fires. Those are just the facts, jon. Reporter: That may all happen, but the cuts represent a tiny fraction of government spending. Take the department of transportation. It would be forced to cut $1 billion from a $74.2 billion . A billion dollars is a lot of money. Reporter: Let's be clear. It's less than two percent of your budget. It's a lot of money, jonathan. They must wait at least 30 days before forcing employees to take that time off. So it will be until april before you see those flight delays. Okay, we are one week out

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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