Sequester Countdown: The Reality of Budget Cuts

ABC News' Jim Avila investigates the controversy around the approaching sequester.
2:02 | 02/28/13

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Transcript for Sequester Countdown: The Reality of Budget Cuts
And now, the sequester. The countdown on, $85 billion in budget cuts set to kick in tomorrow night. Will the consequences be dire or is the obama administration crying wolf? Abc's white house correspondent jim avila looks at the big argument today. Reporter: Another showdown, deadline washington cliff that has even crisis veterans ashamed. God, if we can't do better than that, all of us should be fired. a parade of cabinet secretaries warning of doom. At airport security. You're going to see the lines really grow. Reporter: From the white house briefing room. The education secretary, claiming teachers are already getting fired. These are teachers who are getting pink slips now. Reporter: Turns out the schools say that's premature and cede, he soft bd the word to maybe. Tens of thousands of teachers will potentially lose their jobs. Reporter: At this white house event highlighting defense contractor furloughs, even the workers had doubts. I don't think my job is going to be one of the ones. Reporter: Skepticism amplified by the independent mayor of the nation's largest city and obama supporter. I live in that world. I mean, come on. Let's get serious here. Reporter: Is the administration losing credibility by overstating the crisis? In an exclusive interview with abc news today, homeland security secretary janet napolitano said no. It's all coming, just not tomorrow. And nothing that you warned about was crying wolf? People need to know that lines are going to end up bei longer. They need to be able to plan that way. Reporter: But she did admit her own department's release of low risk undocumented immigrants from detention centers to save money the sequestration was a badly timed surprise to her. Do I wish that this all hadn't been done all of a sudden, and so that people weren't surprised by it? Of course. Reporter: The brinkmanship will continue here tomorrow at the white house, when congressional leaders, both democrat and republican, will meet with the president. Diane? Thanks, jim.

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

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