President Obama signed an order Friday night to begin automatic budget cuts across most federal departments.
The White House released a copy of the order at 8:31 p.m. Friday, directing federal agencies to reduce spending in various accounts by percentages calculated by the Office on Management and Budget.
After failing to reach a deal with congressional leaders to avoid $85 billion in automatic â€œsequesterâ€ budget cuts, President Obama on Friday blamed the crisis squarely on Republican lawmakers.
â€œTheyâ€™ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit,â€ Mr. Obama said at the White House after a Friday morning meeting with top congressional Republicans and Democrats that broke no new ground. â€œMany middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways.â€
But neither side showed any signs of yielding Friday, and Republicans said the reason for the impasse is Mr. Obamaâ€™s insistence on more tax increases.
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