Obama Warns of Sequester Cuts: 'Pain Will Be Real'

The president and Congress fail to avert a sweeping package of automatic spending cuts.
6:40 | 03/01/13

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Transcript for Obama Warns of Sequester Cuts: 'Pain Will Be Real'
As you know I just met with the leaders of both parties to discuss. A way forward in light of the severe budget cuts that starts take effect. Today. I told them these cuts will hurt our economy. But cost us jobs. And to set it right both sides need to be willing to compromise. The good news as the American people are strong and the resort. They fought hard to recover from the worst economic crisis. Since the great depression and we will get through this as well. Even what these cuts in place votes all across this country will work hard to make sure that we keep the recovery -- But Washington sure is making -- -- time -- our businesses have finally begun to get some traction. Hiring new workers bringing jobs back to America. We should be making a series of -- arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend. And workers -- like education. And research. And infrastructure. And defense. It's unnecessary. At a time when too many Americans are still looking for work. It's inexcusable. Now. What's important understanding is that not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain -- will be -- Beginning this week many middle class families will have their lives disrupted. In significant ways. Businesses that work with the military like the Virginia ship builder that I visit on Tuesday. -- after -- -- folks off. Communities near military bases we'll take a serious blow. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country. Border Patrol agents FBI agents. Civilians who work at the Pentagon. All wolf suffer. Significant pay cuts and -- All of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our problem. Layoffs and pay cuts means that people have less money in the pockets and that means -- -- -- might spend at local businesses. That means more profits that means fewer hires. The longer these cuts remain in place the greater the damage to our economy. A slow lines that will intensify -- each passing day. So economists are estimating that. As a consequence of this sequester that we could see growth cut by over one half of 1%. -- will cost about 750000. Jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly. So every time that we get a piece of economic news. Over the next month next two months next six months. As long as -- employees will know that bad economic news could have been better. If congress -- not fail to act. And let's be clear none of this is necessary. It's happening because a choice that Republicans in congress. Have made. They allow these cuts to happen. Because they refused to budge on closing. A single. Wasteful loophole to help reduce the Baptist. As recently as yesterday they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well off and well connected. And they think that that's apparently more important than protecting our military -- middle class families from the pain of these cuts. I do believe. That we can't and must replace these cuts were -- more balanced approach that's something from every part. Smart spending cuts. Entitlement reform. Tax reform that makes the tax code more fair for families and businesses without raising tax rates. Also that we can responsibly lower the deficit without laying off workers are forcing parents to scramble for child care. -- -- financial aid for college students. I don't think that's too much to ask I don't think that is partisan. It's the kind of approach that I proposed for two years that's what I ran on last year. The majority -- the American people agree with me -- this approach. Including by the way a majority of Republicans. We just need Republicans in congress to catch up Liberal Party and the country on this and if they did so we could make a lot of progress. I do know that there are Republicans in congress who privately at least say that they were rather close tax loopholes that let these cuts go through. I know that there Democrats who'd rather do Smart entitlement reform then let these cuts go through. So there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill it's just it's a silent group right now and we want. To make sure that their forces start getting hurt in the coming days in coming weeks and to keep -- keep on reaching out to them. Both individually and as as groups of senators or for members of the house and say to them expects us. I just for a month or two but for years to -- because greatest nation on earth does not conduct its business. In a month to month increments. Or by careening from crisis to crisis and America's got a lot more work to do. In the meantime we can't let. Political gridlock around the budget stand in the way of other areas where we can make progress. I was pleased to see that the house passed the violence against women act yesterday. That is a big win. Four. Not just women but for families and for the American people. It's a -- that's gonna save lives and help more Americans live free from fear it's something. That we've been pushing -- for a long time I was glad to see that done and it's an example of how we can still get. Some important bipartisan legislation through this congress even though there are still these fiscal arguments taking place. I think there are other areas where we can make progress. Even with -- -- a result. I will continue to push for these initiatives -- the -- fortune for high quality preschool for every family that wants. Now we keep pushing to make sure that we raise the minimum wage so that it's one that families can live off. Gonna keep on pushing for immigration reform and reformer voting system and improvements on our transportation sector and I'm gonna keep fortune for sensible gun reforms. Because I still think they deserve a vote. This is -- -- of the American people voted for. These are America's priorities. There too important to go unaddressed and I'm gonna keep pushing to make sure that we see them through.

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

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